News  Release

OHIO DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS  1980 W. Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43223

http://www.dot.state.oh.us

 

ODOT Enlists Army of Volunteers to Prevent Litter ‘Clear Across Ohio’

 

COLUMBUS (March 28, 2008) Hoping to prevent a $4 million problem marring Ohio’s highway system, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) kicked off its annual spring litter cleanup this week by enlisting the help of an army of volunteers 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 with an event Saturday, March 29, at the Street Market in Toledo.

 

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."

 

Statewide, ODOT’s highway crews collected nearly 10 million pounds of trash in 2007 at a cost of $4 million in labor and equipment expenses.  That’s more than 500,000 bags of litter and debris taken off the roads and grassy medians along our state highway system.

 

“By embracing environmental stewardship, we can all prevent litter Clear Across Ohio,” said ODOT Director James Beasley.  “To give you some perspective, the $4 million spent last year to pick up highway litter could have instead been used to pave a new 40 mile two-lane road.”

 

The Great American Cleanup is the nation’s largest annual community improvement program.  Cleanup activities are expected to involve as many as 2.5 million people volunteering more than 8 million hours to clean, beautify and improve 15,000 communities during events in all 50 states.

 

Ohio also has over 1,400 groups – with at least one group in each county – who have joined ODOT’s Adopt-a-Highway program.  Volunteer groups adopt a two mile section or an interchange along the state highway system, picking up litter and debris a minimum of four times each year.

 

If your group is interested in adopting a highway, go online 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:  Becky McCarty (District Communications Office) at 330-308-3949 or Scott Varner (Central Office Communications) at 614-644-8640.