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Plastic Bags Create a Nuisance at Landfill

By: Carly Kennelly
By: Carly Kennelly

The Rock Prairie Road Sanitary Landfill takes in 1,000 tons of trash a day, a large amount of it is plastic.

"Plastic bags are by far the biggest nuisance that any landfill will have to face in their daily operations," said landfill superintendent Samantha Best.

On windy days, those plastic bags are escape artists. The problem is so bad, the landfill tries using barricades to keep trash in. This year, it even hired a full-time employee and bought a giant vacuum to pick up loose garbage.

"Picking up wind-blown waste is a huge, huge labor issue and if we can speed up that process and spend less money in the process that's a good thing," said Best.

If you do throw a plastic bag away, here's a tip for you. Tie it in a knot, that way there's less of a chance it will blow away.

"This facility opened in 1981 and we were kind of way out here not around anybody, but we found ourselves surrounded by numerous new subdivisions and communities and so we'd like to be the good neighbor," said Best.

And neighbors we talked to said the landfill is a good neighbor. If a plastic bag gets away from the landfill, it won't go far.

"I always see people on gators picking up trash usually like every day or every other day, they're out here quite a bit," said resident Summer Hausmann.

The problem is worse in San Fransisco. The city is considering a 17 cent tax for plastic bags at supermarkets. No word on a tax here, at least not Yet.

Some supermarkets like Albertsons and Wal-mart have plastic bag recycling bins.


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