More than 7 million pounds of litter collected from NC roadsides so far in 2021, NCDOT says

North Carolina news

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, crews have already collected an average of more than one million pounds of litter from roadsides per month so far in 2021.

More than seven million pounds of litter has been collected in just the first five months of the year, the NCDOT said.

“Easing COVID restrictions and summer break means more people out on the roads, and that means more people could be littering across our beautiful state,” said state Transportation Secretary Eric Boyette in a news release. “Whether you’re driving to the coast, the mountains or anywhere in between, make sure to always secure your load and don’t throw trash out the window.” 

The department is on pace to exceed the record for litter collection that was set in 2019 when crews collected 10.5 million pounds of trash.

According to the NCDOT, “Litter is unsightly, costs millions of dollars to clean up and can hurt the environment, tourism and the state’s quality of life.”

The NCDOT is encouraging everyone to do their part to keep litter off our roads by:

  • Securing their loads before driving. Unsecured trash can fly from a vehicle and end up as roadside litter.
  • Holding onto trash until it can be disposed of properly. Keep a litter bag in your vehicle so you can properly dispose of trash later.
  • Recycling when possible. Recycling protects the environment, saves landfill space and keeps the community clean.

If you see someone littering from their vehicle, the NCDOT encourages you to report them with their Swat-A-Litterbug app, which can be downloaded here.

If you’re interested in helping clean up, the 2021 Fall Litter Sweep will be held from Sept. 11 to 25.

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