NCDOT volunteers, contractors removed 3.1 million pounds of litter from roadways so far this year


NORTH CAROLINA – (WSPA) As their cleanup efforts continue, the N.C. Department of Transportation crews, contractors and volunteers have now collected more than 3 million pounds of litter from roadsides since January 2021.  

“This is great progress towards making North Carolina cleaner and safer,” said state Transportation Secretary Eric Boyette. “But the real challenge will be sustaining these litter-free roadways. We must all work towards stopping litter at its source.” 

NCDOT reports that the large amount of litter removed from the roadways so far this year is higher than their collection amounts from both 2019 and 2020.

According to officials, litter costs millions of dollars to clean up and can hurt the environment, tourism and the state’s quality of life.  

NCDOT’s Sponsor-A-Highway Program allows businesses, organizations and individuals to sponsor litter removal along roadsides. A total of 120,000 volunteers and participants in the Adopt-A-Highway Program have assisted NCDOT with litter clean up.

The NCDOT discontinued their inmate litter program and instead the state has redirected that funding to litter cleanup focused contractors. Officials said no matter how many volunteers pick up the litter, North Carolinas are filling up the roadways with trash at a much faster rate than volunteers are able to dispose of it.

Officials are asking the community to join in on their efforts to keep North Carolina clean by joining in on their 2021 Spring Litter Sweep.

“While we’re hard at work out there picking up litter off the roads we certainly need everyone’s help to keep litter off the roads,” Harris Kay, communications officer at the NCDOT said, “If you contact your local county maintenance office we will provide you with vests, trash bags and gloves.”

There are several actions residents can take immediately to help reduce litter, a few of those include:

  • Securing your loads before driving. Unsecured trash can fly from a vehicle and end up as roadside litter.  
  • Holding onto trash until it can be disposed of properly. Keep a litter bag in your vehicle so you can properly dispose of trash later.  
  • Recycling when possible. Recycling protects the environment, saves landfill space and keeps the community clean.  

North Carolinians who wish to help keep roads clean can volunteer for the upcoming Spring Litter Sweep from April 10-24.  

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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