ODOT, Jackson Court Partner for Community Service Program
Chillicothe – Nearly 10 million pounds of trash mar Ohio’s roadways each year, and cleaning it up is costly, time consuming and preventable. As one part of the Ohio Department of Transportation’s various initiatives to combat litter, ODOT District 9 has partnered with the Jackson County Municipal Court to provide community service and promote highway beautification.
In June, Municipal Court Judge Mark T. Musick signed an agreement with ODOT to sponsor a community service program in which the court will provide supervision, transportation and work crews for litter pick up as needed, while outlining the locations, dates and times of pick ups with the staff of the department’s Jackson County Highway Maintenance Facility.
“Litter is an eyesore that becomes an expensive public concern, and removing it from our state’s highways is a continual maintenance challenge that is difficult to meet due to limited staff,” said ODOT District 9 Deputy Director James Brushart. “In addition to being a costly problem, it is also time-consuming as we have to pull skilled workers off road repairs to contend with picking up litter.”
“We at Jackson County Municipal Court are both pleased and extremely excited to participate in this venture with ODOT and Governor Ted Strickland’s administration, along with the Jackson County Municipal Court’s Community Service Division for improvement of the community, cleaner gateways to Jackson County and the efficient use of community service labor which would otherwise be persons languishing in a county jail at government expense,” said Judge Mark T. Musick. “This partnership creates a total win-win situation.”
Most litter collects along roadways in one of two ways: people intentionally throw trash from their vehicles, or trash falls from trucks whose loads have not been properly secured. However, litter is a preventable problem, and partnerships like this are another means to combat litter from both the education and enforcement fronts.
“By providing individuals with an opportunity for community service, programs such as this allow our local court systems to assist in highway beautification, promote greater awareness to the problem of litter, and help ODOT concentrate its efforts on road repairs. Therefore, we are pleased to be working with Judge Musick on this invaluable service project,” said Brushart.
In 2007, ODOT workers across the state spent nearly 212,000 hours picking up 442,057 bags of trash along Ohio’s roadways. At a cost of approximately $4.4 million statewide, this amount reflects money that could have been used to pave a 40-mile section of a two-lane highway. In Jackson County alone, litter pickup in 2007 cost approximately $71,882 for equipment and labor.
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For Further Information, Contact: Kathleen Fuller, Public Information Officer
Ohio Department of Transportation, District 9
1-888-819-8501, ext. 774-8834