Monday, February 23, 2015

Unsecured Loads

This open flatbed loaded with scrap cardboard pulled out of Walmart recently.
Not all litter is intentional. "Inadvertent litter" can make up a substantial percentage of roadway litter. For example, trash that's not secure can spill over roadways, although there seems to be a lot less of that source since Shelton switched to new garbage cans.  One very common source of inadvertent litter is unsecured loads. Most people have had the experience of a piece of paper or a bag unexpectedly blowing out of their car after the windows are rolled down.  

Most people have also been behind a commercial vehicle from which waste materials were flying out and landing all over the road. I have seen this repeatedly along Bridgeport Avenue, with each truck turning to get on Route 8, where I assume even more litter was created. These loads were not properly secured. The photo above shows a load of baled cardboard on an open flatbed coming out of Walmart. Pieces of the cardboard were blowing around and breaking off in the wind, which is predictable. This type of load should be carried in an enclosed container. It may be cheaper for the businesses involved to transport in this open top flatbed, but taxpayers are then stuck paying for state workers to pick up the litter. 

The photo below is another common scenario: a roll-off container with an open top from which materials can blow out. Sometimes there is a tarp over the top, but the wind easily gets under the top unless it's very tightly secured with no air gaps and pulls light materials out onto the street. Again, taxpayers foot the bill for picking up the garbage on this state highway. 

Papers were blowing out of this roll-off container last April.
More concerning are scattered biowastes that have been found spilled along Bridgeport Ave, and well as medical records that should be private.

Businesses are responsible for ensure their wastes are being handled properly by contractors, and not just hiring the lowest bidder. Ask to see the truck before it leaves the premises...does it look secure? Waste haulers are responsible for complying with state law and securing their loads. And the state and local police are responsible for stopping and ticketing drivers when loads have not been secured.

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