Roadside litter collection soars past 5 million pounds

Local

RALEIGH, N.C. – As part of its litter removal efforts, N.C. Department of Transportation crews, contractors and volunteers have now collected more than 5 million pounds of litter from roadsides this year. 

This year’s collection includes a new Spring Litter Sweep (April 10-24) record of 1.4 million pounds of roadside trash removed. The previous Spring Litter Sweep record was set in 2019, when more than 939,000 pounds of litter was collected statewide.

“The people of North Carolina have come together like never before to keep our state clean,” said state Transportation Secretary Eric Boyette. “I thank each and every volunteer that helped us reach this extraordinary goal. We had a great effort during the Spring Litter Sweep, and I hope to see even more out there for the Fall Litter Sweep.” 

The department‘s Fall Litter Sweep is scheduled to run from Sept. 11-25.  

NCDOT reports that the agency and its partners have removed 5.3 million pounds of litter since Jan. 1.

NCDOT’s litter management programs are multifaceted. The department makes use of state-owned forces and contract services statewide. NCDOT’s Sponsor-A-Highway Program allows businesses, organizations and individuals to sponsor litter removal along roadsides. NCDOT is also proud to partner with the more than 120,000 participants in the Adopt-A-Highway Program, where volunteers pledge to clean a section of our highways at least four times a year.

Litter is unsightly, costs millions of dollars to clean up and can hurt the environment, tourism and the state’s quality of life. 

Everyone should do their part by:

  • Securing their 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. 

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