During recent months, Albany’s Mayor Sharon Konopa and Albany residents have been working to identify sources of roadside litter and methods of reducing litter in the Benton County area.

From these efforts we’ve determined that at least a portion of roadside litter is being generated during pickup of residential/commercial refuse and recyclables. Republic Services has in kind been very responsive to our concerns and has been investigating methods to prevent the release of refuse from its vehicles during their weekly collections, while residents monitor the impact of their efforts. And preliminary results are encouraging, as Republic’s efforts have demonstrated a 60 to 75 percent reduction of litter for Albany’s Highway 20! However, the analysis is very preliminary and impact may be influenced by factors such as weather, tourism, etc. Thus, a realistic benefit may be in the range of 25 to 50 percent.

Republic Services is also leveraging these modified procedures to other communities and is hopeful they may further reduce litter from neighbor community disposal trucks proceeding to the Independence landfill!

Thus, this message is to recognize the efforts of Republic Services and Mayor Konopa. Their efforts are particularly noteworthy since other city councils and state agencies (governor, ODOT and senators) have not supported efforts for reducing litter!

The state of Oregon could certainly use more ecology-minded representation and similarly responsible commercial businesses such as Republic Services!

Bill Tally

Albany (Nov. 14)

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