Nearly 8,000 tons of trash on Austria’s highways

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Asfinag fished almost 8,000 tons of garbage from Austria’s highways last year. The least amount of waste was collected in Vienna. At the top of the “garbage hit list” is Lower Austria.

More than 7,900 tons of garbage were recorded on the highways last year, Asfinag announced in a release on Tuesday.

Carelessly discarded waste on Austria’s freeways causes Asfinag concern
This means that the amount of garbage is the same as in 2021, it said. Carelessly discarded trash is a concern for the highway company. “Bottles and cans in particular become projectiles when the wind carries them from the rest area onto the roadway or they are thrown out of the window,” Asfinag said. “PET beverage bottles, cans or even leftover food and snack wrappers, which are often either simply thrown on the ground or even out of a moving car at rest areas and parking lots – in some cases right next to the designated trash containers – are not only unappetizing, they can also become a hazard,” Asfinag environmental expert Heimo Berghold was quoted as saying.

Asfinag records the most significant waste volume in Lower Austria
Asfinag registered a slight decrease of five percent in the volume of waste in the provinces of Lower Austria, Styria and Upper Austria. On the other hand, an increase of 13 percent was recorded in Tyrol. “This, in turn suggests that vacation travel by car has picked up again after the Corona-related slump in traffic volumes,” the statement said. The most significant waste volume was recorded in Lower Austria, with 1,833 tons. Vienna was in last place with 43 tons.

Waste disposal on highways causes additional costs
Illegal dumping of household waste or construction waste is also a problem. “In some cases, entire pieces of furniture, car tires or other such items also end up next to the routes because people want to save themselves the waste disposal fee, or because it is simply more convenient. For us, this means an enormous collection effort that has to be carried out by hand, and ultimately also an increase in costs,” Berghold said. On Tuesday, Asfinag also referred to the additional effort caused by garbage on the highways. For example, he said a quarter of the total waste must be collected by hand. “This causes unnecessary, dangerous work assignments next to and along the route, as well as additional costs, of course.” Likewise, Asfinag underscored on Tuesday that all rest areas are equipped with drinking water fountains where you can fill up your water bottle. This is to ensure that fewer bottles are thrown away.

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