Monthly Archives: January 2016

The Case for Common Sense Gum-Control – Facts So Romantic

 

 

Aaron Amat/Shutterstock

To walk the streets of New York and think about all the little black spots on the sidewalks is a little like pondering the stars in the night sky: How many people must have walked this way, deciding at just this moment to spit out their gum? It’s almost beautiful, except that gum attracts rats, sticks to shoes, and costs millions to clean up every year.

 

The numbers really are astronomical: In 2012, Americans spent roughly $3.4 billion on gum. A five-pack of gum costs about $0.35, so that’s—give or take—47 billion sticks of gum. Even if only a tiny fraction of gum chewers always neglect to throw their stale gum in a trashcan, the sidewalk constellations begin to make sense—and cleaning them up is expensive.

 

In the United Kingdom, for instance, one estimate has the cost of removing a single piece of gum from the sidewalk at a pound-and-a-half, or about $2.25; annually, cleaning gum off English and Welsh streets costs around 60 million pounds (currently about $91 million). It’s unclear exactly how much money is spent in the United States on removing gum from city streets, as…

 

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