Fund your trip around Australia by cleaning it up

On our drive from Perth to the Pilbara, time seemed to drag like never before. We split the drive into 3 days, as doing too long in the car with our young kids never ends well, and really, they are champions when it comes to sitting in the car for up to 8 hours a day.

I digress though, as did my thoughts on our trip up to the absolutely disgusting amount of rubbish that lies on the edge of the road. Some of its general waste, but for the most part a huge amount of it is recyclable, and WA has only recently had its 10 cents per container arrangement turned on, which got me thinking.

Driving to the Pilbara
I was horrified at the amount of rubbish on the edge of the road from Perth to Newman

Would it be possible, in theory of course, to travel your way around Australia and pay for the cost of fuel purely based on picking these recyclable containers up? Obviously, there’s logistical issues and you’d easily put a hole in my theoretical debate, but it was good to waste a few minutes of time thinking about.

Lets say your vehicle uses about 15L/100km of diesel. In todays fuel prices, that’s around $33, which means you’d have to pick up 330 recyclable items every 100km. As I drove, I wondered if that would actually be possible.

Let’s break it down further; you’d have to collect 3.3 recyclable items every kilometre. At 100km/h it only takes about 36 seconds to do a kilometre, but if you actually pay attention to the edge of the road, you’d be surprised how much rubbish you see.

We did it a few times between Wubin and Meekatharra, and counted around 20 items per kilometre, and I guarantee you’d find more walking up and down the highway, and not flying past at 100km/h!

At that rate, you’d be making $200 every 100 kilometres! That’s pretty sad.

Yes, I know, this is only theoretical, but its interesting to think about in terms of both the amount of rubbish that people feel the need to dispose of, and the cost of fuel.

I don’t know what sort of economy you’d get idling along while someone else picked rubbish up, or how quickly you’d fill up a big trailer full of rubbish, or where you’d take it to, but here’s some musings from our travels.

Do better people. If you lob rubbish out your window, you’re a tosser, literally.

Rubbish bins
These are rubbish bins. Please use them

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