ODOT partners with Keep America Beautiful to pick up litter Clear Across Ohio
Litter Costly, Time Consuming, Preventable
New Philadelphia, Ohio (Monday, March 22, 2010) – Working in partnership with Keep America Beautiful to help promote the ‘Great American Cleanup’ (March 1 – May 31) and hoping to prevent a $4 million problem tarnishing our state highway system, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is kicking off its annual spring litter cleanup this week with volunteers trying to prevent litter Clear Across Ohio.
ODOT is coordinating its cleanup efforts in the counties they serve as part of the annual State Roadway Cleanup Event. ODOT District 11 county maintenance crews will be picking up litter during the day this Friday, March 26, alongside its Adopt-A-Highway (AAH) groups, Keep Ohio Beautiful affiliates, and its partners at the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
"These partnerships go a long way to beautifying our roads, while reducing our costs," said ODOT District 11 Deputy Director Richard Bible, P.E. "Not only is litter a costly problem, but it is against the law."
Lt. Eric Escola, New Philadelphia Post Commander for the Ohio State Highway Patrol said, "Littering is a serious offense, punishable by fines of up to $500. Law enforcement officers can issue tickets for littering just as they do for other traffic violations. In addition, the driver of a motor vehicle can also be held responsible for litter discarded onto the roadway by passengers."
As part of this effort, ODOT will be installing additional regulatory signs at litter-prone locations around eastern Ohio this week, including:
- State Route 149 between Neffs and Bellaire, along Interstate 70 near the Ohio Valley Mall, and on I-70 near the I-470 split in Belmont County
SR 43 south of Malvern in Carroll County
On the off ramp from SR 7 in Wellsville, Columbiana County
At the SR 7 and SR 213 intersection near Steubenville and on SR 213 near the rest area and Park and Ride near the Columbiana County line in Jefferson County
At the I-77 northbound on ramps at Newcomerstown and New Philadelphia, Tuscarawas County
Litter is a preventable problem. Most litter collects along highways one of two ways: 1) People intentionally throw trash from their vehicles, or 2) Trash falls from trucks whose loads have not been properly secured.
Last year, ODOT crews statewide spent 187,951 labor hours picking up 342,552 bags of litter from highways and interchanges. The cost and time involved to remove litter from the highways could have been used for much needed highway repairs instead. For example, $4 million is approximately what it costs to install 340 miles of guardrail, pave 20 miles of a four-lane highway, or apply pavement markings along 347 miles of highway.
Gathering together to pick up trash along roadways gives Ohioans cleaner and safer roadways, helps foster pride in communities, develops relationships among neighbors, and positively affects healthy economic development. Ohio also has over 1,400 groups who have joined AAH and adopted a two mile section or an interchange along the state highway system, picking up litter and debris a minimum of four times each year. Interested groups can contact their nearest ODOT facility or go online to www.odotdistrict11.org and look for the Adopt-A-Highway icon.
For more information contact:
Becky Giauque \Jee-awg\, Public Information Officer, at (330) 308-3949
or email D11.PIO@dot.state.oh.us
ODOT District 11 serves Belmont, Carroll, Columbiana, Harrison, Holmes, Jefferson and Tuscarawas counties.