North Carolina Department of Transportation crews and volunteers collect litter on a state roadside. Photo: NCDOT

Since Jan. 1, the state Department of Transportation’s crews, contractors and volunteers have collected more than 9 million pounds of litter from roadsides, preventing that trash from becoming marine debris.

Officials estimate that in the late fall the 2019 record of 10.5 million pounds collected will be broken this year.

When consumer goods, often single-use disposables, are littered or improperly managed, this trash can find its way into rivers, streams and other waterways. These ultimately empty into our oceans, where the trash becomes marine debris, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

“In North Carolina, we take great pride in our natural resources, but we all have to be vigilant to keep our state beautiful,” said Transportation Secretary Eric Boyette in a statement. “We may break a record for the amount of litter we pick up along roadsides this year, but we must keep that momentum going. Everyone should do their part to help us keep North Carolina roads clean.”

Boyette encouraged everyone to get involved in the 2021 Fall Litter Sweep from Sept. 11-25. To sign up for the litter sweep, visit the website. To learn more about the litter sweep, visit the the program’s webpage.

NCDOT’s litter management programs include the Sponsor-A-Highway Program that allows businesses, organizations and individuals to sponsor litter removal along roadsides. NCDOT also partners with 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.

Report littering through NCDOT’s Swat-A-Litterbug app found at

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Credit: Original content published here.

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