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 eight million pounds of litter has been collected so far this year, the NCDOT said.

“We’re less than two months away from our annual Fall Litter Sweep, and we’re counting on everyone to help keep this momentum going,” said state Transportation Secretary Eric Boyette. “Please do your part by securing your loads before traveling, throw away trash in garbage bins, recycle when you can and make sure your friends and family do the same.” 

The department is on pace to easily 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. Click here to sign up and click here for more information on the program.