NC ‘Litter Sweep’ collects over 4MM pounds of garbage; Plateau helps

As part of its litter removal efforts, including the ongoing Litter Sweep, N.C. Department Transportation crews, contractors and volunteers have now collected more than 4 million pounds of litter from roadsides since Jan 1, 2021.

“The Spring Litter Sweep started April 1 and only a week in, and already the sweep has helped tremendously in keeping our roadways clean,” said state Transportation Secretary Eric Boyette. “Keeping North Carolina clean requires everyone to do their part, whether that’s volunteering in the ongoing Litter Sweep or simply securing your load when you drive.”

Highlands clean-up efforts

Volunteers show up to help clean up the roads for Plateau Pickup at Kelsey-Hutchinson Founders Park in Highlands on April 17.

Highlanders did their part on April 17.

According to Highlands Visitor Center Director, Beverly Wichman, 80 volunteers stuffed 286 orange bags with litter collected on US 64 east and west, NC 106, NC 28 south, Bowery, Hickory, Flat Mountain and Horse Cove roads as well as from the downtown area.

Volunteers of all ages showed up to do their part.

“We had 50 people sign up to participate but ended up with 80!” said Wichman. “We were very grateful.”

In the Franklin area, Rotarian road crews, the Franklin High School Interact Club and Boy Scout Troops collected 660 pounds in 54 bags.

Since Jan. 1, 4 million pounds have been collected with 1 million of that just since April 1. NCDOT’s litter management programs are multifaceted. The department makes use of state-owned forces and contract services statewide.

Volunteers collect trash along Dillard Road on April 17.

NCDOT’s Sponsor-A-Highway Program allows businesses, organizations and individuals to sponsor litter removal along roadsides. NCDOT is also proud to partner with the 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.

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

Everyone should do their part 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.
  • Recycling when possible. Recycling protects the environment, saves landfill space and keeps the community clean.

Clean-up efforts in Cashiers

From left are David Fowler, Linda Benge, and Paul Robshaw with the trash bags from Highway 64 between Ingles and Cedar Creek Club. Photo courtesy of Vision Cashiers.

11 volunteers participated in the Vision Cashiers Pathways & Preservation Task Force sponsored Litter Cleanup on April 18, including Barbara Banks, Linda Benge, Danny Bottoms, Bob Carton, Maggie Carton, Raymond DeMoss, David Fowler, Kristin Jaeckel, Paul Nowacki, Paul Robshaw, and Carol Wilson.

The group picked up 40 bags of trash and several parts of a car.

Carol Wilson and Bob Carton with the trash bags collected along Slabtown Road. Photo courtesy of Vision Cashiers.

15 bags of trash were collected on the stretch of Highway 64 from Ingles to Cedar Creek Club and 25 bags along Slabtown Road.

Plans are in the works for another pick-up event in May.

From left are Carol Wilson, Danny Bottoms, Kristin Jaeckel, and Paul Nowacki as they leave to pick up trash from the Cashiers Chamber of Commerce. Photo courtesy of Vision Cashiers. 

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