CalTrans Treats Urine Like Hazardous Waste (and you pay for it)

Each year, CalTrans spends millions of dollars cleaning the state's highways.  One item that CalTrans is finding more and more of is urine filled-bottles.  Yes, apparently some idiotic drivers like doing number one in the number two lane and throwing bottles of their urine alongside highways.

According to a CalTrans Supervisor who was interviewed on CBS 13 – Sacramento (February 13, 2008
), “The urine bottles have become a problem.” 

While most of us may find it disgusting, you would think that a pair of latex gloves and a garbage bag would solve the problem. But not with CalTrans – they go  the extra mile.

According to the same supervisor,“It's a hazardous substance. You don't want to touch somebody's throw-away, and our guys are trained not to pick 'em up…. We have an actual hazardous materials contractor who comes in, and I think it could get pretty expensive.”

Really? Hazardous waste?

In fact, “California spends between 50[-million] and 60-million dollars a year picking up stuff left along the highways, and washed into storm drains…. [The CalTrans contractor] who handles those cleanups, estimates the average job costs the state several hundred to several thousand dollars.”

The litter may be unpleasant and just plain gross, but claiming it is hazardous seems a bit extreme. After all, janitors, nurses, garbage men, and parents deal with human waste daily, yet they seem to be able to get the job done without a hazardous materials suit. You would think that CalTrans could find a better way to address this problem, especially since the state barely has “a pot to pee in.”

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