New Brunswick

Recycle NB launches provincial litter survey

Recycle NB is conducting a unique survey this summer to record the type of roadside litter and the area where the highest concentrations of litter are found along provincial roadways.
Pat McCarthy, CEO of Recylce NB, says a lot of people are getting the message about littering, but some are still tossing garbage out of the car window. (Photo courtesy of Chafic Haddad )

Recycle NB is conducting a unique survey this summer to record the type of roadside litter and the area where the highest concentrations of litter are found along provincial roadways.

The idea is to determine how big of a problem roadside littering is in New Brunswick.

Two students are going to spend the summer travelling through rural and urban roads in the province, stopping and surveying random spots, recording every piece of litter they see.

The litter survey crew began work June 4 and are expected to wrap up by the end of the summer, said Pat McCarthy, the CEO of Recycle NB.

McCarthy said he went out on one of the first surveys and was surprised by what he saw.

"It was unbelievable. There was an old TV along the road, a lot of containers from fast food organizations and there was a variety of them out there, old beverage containers," he said. "You know there was a lot of different items out there.

McCarthy said a lot of people are getting the message about littering, but some are still tossing garbage out of the car window.

"This used to be called the 'Picture Province' and let's bring it back," he said, "So we'll reduce the amount of litter along the highways."

All of the information gathered will be put in a report that will be sent to the Department of the Environment early next year.

According to Recycle NB's website, the survey is the first of its kind in the province.

The website says this study is different from litter counts in that it uses statistically proven and recognized methods of identifying litter sites for counting litter.

"If we know how much, and what kind of litter is being thrown from vehicles, then we are better able to focus our efforts on finding solutions to the problem, Recycle NB chairman Murray Driscoll said in a release.

The Environmental Trust Fund and Encorp Atlantic are providing funding for the survey.

The Environmental Trust Fund provides assistance for projects aimed at protecting, preserving and enhancing the province's natural environment.

Encorp Atlantic manages a beverage container recycling service for organizations that distribute beverage containers in New Brunswick.