What’s in your ditch?

We went out for a walk this afternoon. There were so many bottles and cans in the ditches that I drove back later to pick them up since here in Iowa we get a nickel for every returnable container we take in to the recycling center. Check out the data below and keep in mind that I picked these bottles and cans up in one mile of road, checking both the east and west ditches. Nearly all of the bottles and cans were in the east ditch (on the north/south road), which makes sense since the prevailing winter winds in the country are west/northwest.


Are you surprised by the large number of Mountain Dew bottles & cans? I expected more beer than pop, but my assumption was wrong. With our 5 cent return policy in Iowa, the 63 bottles and cans would yield $3.15 at the recycling center in Ames; however, 13 of those bottles are not refundable (the Snapple and the water and Gatorade), so $2.50.

The main question, however, is why? Why is there so much junk in the countryside? How does it get here? Blow out of pickups? Get thrown out the window?



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