OHIO DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
DIVISION OF COMMUNICATIONS - 1980 W. Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43223
ODOT and Record Number of Volunteers partner to pick up litter "Clear Across Ohio"
COLUMBUS (March 27, 2009) – Hoping to prevent a nearly $4 million problem tarnishing our state highway system, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) kicked off its annual spring litter cleanup this week with a record number of volunteers trying to prevent litter Clear Across Ohio.
Governor Ted Strickland proclaimed April as "Keep Ohio Beautiful Month." In celebration, ODOT has partnered with Keep Ohio Beautiful on the Great American Cleanup, which officially kicks off statewide Saturday, March 28, with an event featuring two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin at Fifth Third Field, home of the Dayton Dragons.
ODOT District 11 Deputy Director Dick Bible said, "As a way to show our support and participation, our county maintenance crews throughout east-central Ohio are picking up litter today."
"ODOT crews work very hard maintaining our highways for all motorists," said ODOT Director Jolene M. Molitoris. "But litter isn’t normal road repair. It’s a problem that keeps coming back, and something has to be done to stop it."
Statewide, ODOT crews collected nearly seven million pounds of trash in 2008 at a cost of $3.6 million in labor and equipment expenses. That’s more than 350,000 bags of litter and debris taken off roads and grassy medians on our state highway system.
"By becoming environmental stewards, we can prevent litter Clear Across Ohio," said Director Molitoris. "That $3.6 million spent on litter removal could have been better spent on our transportation system."
The Great American Cleanup is the nation’s largest annual community improvement program – 2.5 million people volunteering, more than 8 million hours to clean, beautify and improve 15,000 communities in all 50 states.
Ohio has more than 1,400 groups – at least one in each county – who have joined ODOT’s Adopt-A-Highway program. Each group volunteers to clean up a two-mile section or interchange along the state highway system, picking up litter and debris a minimum of four times a year for two years.
If you are interested in helping prevent litter Clear Across Ohio, go to www.dot.state.oh.us and look for the Adopt-A-Highway icon or contact the ODOT facility nearest you.
For more information, contact: Nancy Burton, ODOT Communications, at (614) 728-8915 or
Becky McCarty, ODOT District 11 Communications Office at (330) 308-3949.