NCDOT Prepping for Annual Litter Cleanup Effort

The North Carolina Department of Transportation is gearing up for its annual “Spring Litter Sweep” event, to be held April 13-27 statewide.

[Above photo by NCDOT]

The Spring Litter Sweep – one of NCDOT’s many roadside litter removal initiatives – engages local communities to tackle the issue of roadside litter. During the two-week period, residents are encouraged to participate in local efforts to help clean up North Carolina’s roadsides.

In addition to volunteers, NCDOT maintenance crews devote one week of their time picking up litter and collecting trash bags that are filled by volunteers, the agency noted.

Photo by NCDOT

“We’re grateful for the dedication and enthusiasm of our volunteers who step up each year to participate in the litter sweeps,” said David Harris, an NCDOT’s roadside environmental engineer, in a statement.

“Their commitment to helping us keep our roadsides clean is truly commendable,” he added. “Their hard work and passion contribute to a cleaner, greener North Carolina for generations to come.”

State departments of transportation are involved in a variety of litter cleanup efforts that remove tons of trash from along highways and state roadways across the country.

For example, the Arizona Department of Transportation recently noted that its “Adopt a Highway” volunteers continued to make a big difference in terms of litter cleanup along state highways in 2023.

Photo by the Arizona DOT

The agency said roughly 850 volunteer groups – comprised of nearly 9,000 individuals – collected over 15,000 bags of roadside litter weighing some 103 tons from state highways mainly outside of Arizona’s metropolitan areas in 2023.

The dollar value of that volunteer work equates to roughly $674,000; money the Arizona DOT said can be committed to other critical needs.

Meanwhile, the Mississippi Department of Transportation launched a new anti-litter webpage as part of a renewed statewide anti-littering campaign that kicked off in August 2023 – a “one-stop hub” that contains information about the state’s Adopt-a-Highway program, Mississippi litter statistics and resources, stormwater pollution information, anti-litter resources for school teachers, and much more.

On another front, to make roadway debris removal operations faster and safer, the South Carolina Department of Transportation started installing “lane blades” on select highway incident response vehicles in 2023.

And in April 2023, the Illinois Department of Transportation launched a new public outreach effort called “Think Before You Throw!” as part of its ongoing awareness campaign to reduce littering on state highways and roads.

That “Think Before You Throw!” initiative aims to reduce roadside litter along the state’s more than 150,000 miles of roads by raising awareness of the negative environment impact of trash, for both state residents and the nearly 100 million tourists who visit annually, the agency said.

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