1,650 maintenance employees & office staff remove more than 11,000 bags of litter along state highways
√ Litter pickup timed to correspond with Earth Day 2022, help keep highways cleaner, safer
New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez announced 1,650 department maintenance employees and office staff participated in a “Trash Blitz” across the state to commemorate Earth Day 2022, and encourage motorists to properly dispose of trash. The teams across regions collected 11,146 bags of litter along state highways.
“New York state is a national leader when it comes to protecting our environment, and the example set by our dedicated DOT employees during this annual cleanup effort is something we all need to look up to and emulate every day of the year,” Dominguez said. “Keeping our roadways free of litter and debris is vital to protect the public health as well as the safety of everyone who is using our roads. With cleaner roadways, we can foster safer, healthier, more vibrant communities across our state.”
The purpose of the “Trash Blitz” is to remove litter from numerous state-owned highways and, DOT stated, “bring awareness to motorists that littering tarnishes the beautiful landscape of the region and threatens both the safety of the roadway and the natural habitat surrounding it. The ‘Trash Blitz’ was conducted to correspond with Earth Day and encourage motorists to stop littering.”
The 11,146 bags of trash were picked up in all corners of the state, including:
This year Region 9 (Binghamton area) did not participate due to a snowstorm, but cleanup work will continue throughout the year.
DOT stated, “Highway debris and litter pose safety, aesthetic and health concerns for all who live, work, and travel in New York state. NYSDOT faces increasingly more difficult and expensive challenges to keep up with litter removal. Garbage strewn roadways are not only an unattractive nuisance, they present dangers as well. Litter, particularly plastic bags, can clog drains and cause roadway flooding or chemicals to seep into water supplies with highway storm run-off. Trash can also catch fire or block motorists’ view if caught in the wind. Any discarded containers can become potential breeding grounds for mosquitoes that spread harmful diseases.
“NYSDOT will continue routine maintenance cleanup as resources allow. Motorists are urged to extend the results of this major cleanup by keeping their personal trash inside their own vehicles until they can dispose of it at proper trash receptacles.
“Additionally, organizations are encouraged to participate in the Adopt-A-Highway program, which NYSDOT administers through its regional offices. NYSDOT provides the training, gear and collection bags. Participating organizations provide the muscle. To learn more about Adopt-A-Highway and to get involved, please visit www.dot.ny.gov/programs/adopt-highway.”
To find the latest traffic and travel conditions, call 511, visit www.511NY.org or download the free 511NY mobile app. The online system and mobile app include a state road map, indicating which roads are experiencing snow conditions and where conditions are normal.