For informational/historical purposes only.

Ohio Department of Transportation

Internet News Release

March 30, 2007

Volunteers Help ODOT Clean Up Roadways

COLUMBUS Each year, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is forced to pull skilled workers off highway repairs to clean other peoples trash, but this spring, ODOT is getting some help.

To bring attention to the litter problem around the state, ODOT crews in all 12 districts are targeting litter this spring alongside ODOTs Adopt-A-Highway groups, as well as cities and Keep Ohio Beautiful affiliates. The effort is part of the national Great American Cleanup.

This partnership will go a long way to beautifying our roads while reducing our costs, said ODOT Director James Beasley, P.E., P.S. Not only is litter a costly problem, but it also means we have to put highway work on the back burner while were battling litter, which is a continuous process in the spring and summer.

As part of the partnership, ODOT is working with Keep Ohio Beautiful, Keep Columbus Beautiful and the city of Columbus for a ceremonial event at Rhodes Park on Columbus west side March 31 at 8:30 a.m. ODOT Deputy Director Thomas J. Wester, Ohio Department of Natural Resources Deputy Director Anthony Trevina and Columbus Mayor Mike Coleman will be guest speakers.

In 2006, ODOT spent $5.5 million statewide on litter removal and picked up 611,000 bags of trash, taking 297,000 man hours.

Litter is a preventable problem. Most litter collects along the highways in one of two ways: 1) People intentionally throw trash from their cars or 2) Trash falls from trucks whose loads have not been properly secured.

We work hard to keep the highways looking good for the traveling public, Wester said. But litter isnt like normal road repair. We can find a remedy for just about every other problem on the road, but litter keeps coming back.

The ceremonial event in Columbus will be followed by a litter pickup effort at the Interstate 70/West Broad Street interchange, as well as neighborhoods throughout Columbus. Volunteers can sign up to help the day of the event.