An analysis of roadside garbage, Fairmont St. between 32nd Pl. and 34th St., Phoenix Arizona

Study area

Fairmont Street is a residential street in Phoenix, Arizona that serves as a feeder street for approximately a 1/4 square mile residential neighborhood. Traffic along the road is light, and primarily relates to local residences. Because Fairmont is not a through street, vehicular and pedestrian travel is likely local, beginning or terminating at nearby houses.

The study area began at the intersection of 34th Pl. and Fairmont St, a residential intersection. The study ended after recording the first 50 items of garbage seen when walking east along a linear path. In this case, 50 items were recorded over a linear distance of about 200 yards.

Methods

Methods were the same as with the 36th St. study. Classification categories were also identical.

Results

A graphical representation of the number of items in each category is presented here.

As with the 36th street study, the largest contributor to roadside garbage is tobacco, with 46% of the items seen related to tobacco use. Food items were the second largest identified category, accounting for 20% of the items seen. 20% of the items were unidentifiable or had ambiguous origins, composed of mostly degraded paper or plastic.

Conclusions

Because Fairmont is not a through street, local residents are likely responsible for the tobacco and food related garbage. Surprisingly, there was just as much garbage along Fairmont St as 36th street despite the assumed lower amount of pedestrian traffic, with 50 items being observed within about 200 yards. This could suggest less frequent sweeping on the smaller street; however, many items observed were on the sidewalk.

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