SANFORD – State transportation officials and their partners have ramped up roadside litter removal and all people are encouraged to join the effort during an upcoming clean-up initiative.
N.C. Department of Transportation crews, contract forces, Adopt-A-Highway and Sponsor-A-Highway groups and other volunteers have already collected nearly 3 million pounds of trash statewide this year.
N.C. Board of Transportation Division 8 Representative Lisa Mathis gained a first-hand perspective of the situation as she joined Division Engineer Brandon Jones and company on Tuesday to pick up trash along U.S. 421 Bypass in Sanford.
“Litter is an issue that affects everyone," Mathis said. “Our roadsides are our front door to the world and the wildflower program draws visitors from all over. Let's not trash it up carelessly. It's important that we all act responsibly and do our part to keep NC looking it's best. We urge everyone to have some pride and put trash in its proper place. We also encourage people to supplement our efforts by volunteering for a clean-up event."
NCDOT traditionally schedules two-week periods in April and September to amplify litter clean-up across the state. Residents can visit www.ncdot.gov/littersweep to get more information about next month's spring Litter Sweep, set for April 10-24, and contact a local county coordinator to get involved.
NCDOT maintenance offices in Division 8 – which consists of Chatham, Hoke, Lee, Montgomery, Moore, Randolph, Richmond and Scotland counties – will provide volunteers with supplies such as trash bags, gloves and safety vests.
“We welcome all the help we can get but just like we tell our own work crews, anyone who heads out to volunteer needs to be mindful of their surroundings alongside roadways," Jones said. “Cleaning up our roadsides is a commendable undertaking, but safety is most important."
Another way to get involved is through the Adopt-A-Highway program, an initiative in place since 1988 where groups can adopt a 2-mile section of roadway to clean up to four times a year. Interested parties can learn more and apply here.