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Tis the Season to Target Trash
ODOT partners with volunteers to pick up litter Clear Across Ohio

COLUMBUS (Monday, March 22, 2010) - With the Spring season officially underway, crews with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) will turn their attentions from clearing ice and snow to clearing litter along Ohio’s roadways and bridges. 

And this year, they will enlist an army of volunteers to help prevent litter Clear Across Ohio.

In many parts of the state, ODOT crews will be out starting today cleaning debris along the highway. 

Last year, ODOT spent approximately $4 million and used 187,951 labor hours picking up 342,552 bags of litter from highways and interchanges. 

ODOT does have help in fighting litter. As part of coordinated cleanup efforts in many parts of the state, hundreds of volunteer groups comprised of local neighborhood groups, businesses and organizations will take to Ohio’s roadways this month to pick up thousands of pounds of recyclables, litter and debris.  

The work leads up to the annual “Great American Cleanup” celebration this Saturday, March 27.

Organized nationally by Keep America Beautiful, the “Great American Cleanup” is the country's largest community improvement program, involving an estimated 3 million volunteers. The call for volunteers runs through May 31.

ODOT and Keep Ohio Beautiful will celebrate the “Great American Cleanup” this Saturday in Cincinnati, by encouraging more communities and volunteers to target trash and litter along roadways Clear Across Ohio.

The cost and time involved to remove litter from the highways could have been used for other needs. $4 million  is approximately what it costs to install 340 miles of safety guardrail, pave 20 miles of a four-lane highway or apply pavement markings along 347 miles of highway.

Through the Adopt-A-Highway program, ODOT has more than 1,400 groups - with at least one group in each county – who have 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 go online to www.dot.state.oh.us and look for the Adopt-a-Highway icon.

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For more information contact:
Scott Varner, Central Office Communications, at 614-644-8640
Or Your Local Communications Office, at 216-584-2006  

You are also invited to be a part of the solution by volunteering on Saturday, March 27 for the annual State Roadway Cleanup, a partnership between Keep Ohio Beautiful and ODOT/District 8. To volunteer in the Cincinnati area, you can either complete the online volunteer form at KeepCincinnatiBeautiful.org, or note your interest when submitting your pick for a cleanup location. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. at the Cincinnati Union Terminal: 1301 Western Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45302