Each year, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is forced to spend $4 million on litter pick-up…a preventable problem. That money could be used to install 323 culverts, pave 40 miles of a two-lane road, install 340 miles of guardrail, or purchase 28 snowplow trucks.
“While potholes remain a priority this time of year, our crews must also focus on litter pick-up before the mowing season begins,” said ODOT Director Jerry Wray.
Statewide last year, ODOT spent $4.4 million and 206,221 hours picking up 392,305 bags of trash. In District 11, ODOT crews spent $115,469 and 5,258 hours picking up 11,059 bags of trash.
Each March, ODOT organizes cleanup events around the state as part of the annual Great American Cleanup. In Ohio, hundreds of volunteers made up of citizens, neighborhood groups, businesses, and organizations take to Ohio’s roadways to pick up thousands of bags of recyclables, litter, and debris.
“Gathering together to pick up litter along roadways gives Ohioans cleaner and safer roadways, helps to foster pride in communities, and positively affects healthy economic development,” said Director Wray.
ODOT’s more than 1,400 Adopt-A-Highway groups – at least one in each of Ohio’s 88 counties – clean a two-mile section, or interchange, a minimum of four times a year for two years. On average, Adopt-A-Highway volunteers pick up 25,000 bags of trash, saving the Department $280,000 each year.
Groups wanting to adopt a section of highway or an interchange can apply at: www.transportation.ohio.gov or by contacting Wendy Hitchcock at District 11 (330-308-3906 or Wendy.Hitchcock@dot.state.oh.us).