Traveling soda can an anti-litter reminder

Doña Ana County

An 8-foot-tall soda can on display at the Southern New Mexico State Fair is a reminder not to litter.

A giant soda can will stand guard at the Southern New Mexico State Fairgrounds this weekend. The traveling soda can, a project of the New Mexico Tourism Department’s Keep New Mexico Beautiful program, is a visual reminder of our state’s overall litter problem and a colorful way to encourage everyone in Doña Ana County to do their part to keep our communities litter-free.

Keep New Mexico Beautiful says the can is cost-effective and is made of long-lasting materials. Instead of showing a temporary message on a billboard, or a print or television ad, the can is designed to engage and inspire New Mexicans as it travels to local communities.

It stands 8 feet tall and weighs 400 pounds, a fraction of the estimated 6,000 pieces of litter found on each mile of road in New Mexico. Keeping that trash picked up is a costly endeavor.

“It costs millions of dollars to clean that up,” says Deputy Joe Padilla, the coordinator for Keep Doña Ana County Beautiful. “The soda can is a way to show people that even the smallest pieces of litter can add up, and that creates a very large problem in New Mexico, and here in Doña Ana County.”

The overwhelming majority of litter is small, less than 4 inches. Creating an 8-foot tall can designed to be one giant piece of litter makes it hard to ignore, said Padilla, who worked with the Keep New Mexico Beautiful Program to bring the can to Doña Ana County.

To date, the can has traveled to the Mesilla Valley Mall, Corbett Center on the campus of New Mexico State University, and now the Southern New Mexico State Fair, which runs today through Sunday. After the fair, the can will be on display at the Doña Ana County Government Center, 845 N. Motel Blvd., in Las Cruces.



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