CITY OF EL MIRAGE, AZ - Last Wednesday, August 4, was the Wild Life Wednesday in Arizona. To celebrate the day, the City of El Mirage shared the importance of keeping our environment clean without littering to preserve wildlife in their habitat. According to Don't Trash Arizona, these are the facts of littering you need to know.
Maricopa County spent $5 million of tax to clean up the roads from waste. From the data in 2020, there were more than 105,000 bags of litter that had been picked up from the Valley freeways which consisted of 425 bags of waste per week and a total of 1.4 million pounds in a year. In addition, there were 51,000 accidents across the U.S. each year caused by debris on freeways and two deaths each year due to road debris. In short, litter could affect everyone in every aspect in Arizona and the U.S. in general.
Different waste has different duration to decompose, depending on what the waste is made of. Organic waste such as banana peels decomposes from three weeks up to five years. Metal containers such as aluminum can take up to 500 years, and the worst of them all is styrofoam materials that take more than one million years.
Littering when driving is the most common, and it even could be dangerous. From the data by 2020 Litter Evaluation Survey, the most common thing drivers throw from their windows is food and organic materials, followed by paper pieces, food wrappers, and cigarette butts.
The most dangerous waste that might be seen on highways are tires, mattresses, metal scraps, carpets, and truck bed liners. There are about 125 people who are victims of dangerous debris in roadways.
For more information about litter and dangerous debris, visit here https://donttrashaz.org/Litter-Facts.
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