As Conservation Chairman of the Northern Shenandoah Valley Audubon Society (NSVAS), Sam Patten kept track of all pieces of litter that NSVAS collected between September 1990 and September 1998 on their section of US Route 255 as part of the Adopt-A-Highway program. While an informal survey, his findings show that beverage containers constitute the greatest percentage of litter items on the two-mile stretch of road in Clarke County, Virginia.
Cans and bottles were recycled and trash was taken to a dumpster site or landfill. Tired of picking up roadside litter several times a year for eight years, NSVAS gave up its Adopt-A-Highway program in 1998. In his letter to the Virginia Adopt-A-Highway organization, advising them of their decision to discontinue their litter pickups, Mr. Patten said, “ These figures are just for two miles of secondary road. Multiply by the number of miles of roads and divide by two and you get an indication of the tremendous waste of recyclable resources which we tolerate in the absence of beverage container recycling (deposit) laws.“