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NCDOT litter sweep set

More than 1 million pounds of litter have been collected from state roads so far this year by state Department of Transportation crews, contractors and volunteers.

“We are only just beginning this year’s efforts to clean up and prevent litter on our roadsides,” said state Transportation Secretary Eric Boyette in a statement. “But we need everyone’s help. We all are responsible for keeping North Carolina clean and beautiful.”

North Carolinians looking to join in the effort to keep state roadways clean can volunteer for the Spring Litter Sweep from April 10-24.

Each April and September, NCDOT asks volunteers from local businesses, schools, nonprofits, churches, municipalities, law enforcement and community groups to help keep North Carolina roadways clean.

Volunteers are provided with cleanup supplies such as trash bags, gloves and safety vests from area NCDOT county maintenance yard offices. To sign up and get more information, visit the NCDOT’s Litter Sweep webpage or call 919-707-2970.

All volunteers are encouraged to follow proper COVID-19 safety guidance, including wearing a mask and gloves at all times and keeping six feet apart from other volunteers. In addition, anyone that has been diagnosed with or recently exposed to COVID-19 should refrain from participating, stated the NCDOT press release.

NCDOT uses both state-owned forces and contract services statewide to manage litter. The agency and its partners have removed 1.18 million pounds of litter since Jan. 1.

NCDOT’s Sponsor-A-Highway Program allows businesses, organizations and individuals to sponsor litter removal along roadsides. NCDOT also partners with the more than 120,000 participants in the Adopt-A-Highway Program, where volunteers pledge to clean a section of our highways at least four times a year.

The department noted that litter is unsightly, costs millions of dollars to clean up and can hurt tourism, the environment and the state’s quality of life. The most effective way to aid litter removal efforts is to stop it at its source.

NCDOT recommends everyone do the following:

– Securing loads before driving. Unsecured trash can fly from a vehicle and end up as roadside litter.

– Trash should be held onto until it can be disposed of properly. Keep a litter bag in each vehicle and properly dispose of trash later.

– Recycle whenever possible. Recycling protects our environment, saves landfill space and keeps the community clean.

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