//Trash Pile Grew During 2014 Litter Pick Up Week

Trash Pile Grew During 2014 Litter Pick Up Week

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GDOT-LogoTIFTON, GA. – The amount of garbage collected in the Georgia Department of Transportation’s Southwest District during this year’s Litter Pick Up Week exceeded last year’s total despite heavy rainfall on the first day that prevented some areas from participating.

Litter Pick Up Week was April 7-11. The statewide initiative is traditionally recognized during the first full week of April, before the start of mowing season. All other maintenance activities stopped, except emergencies, as maintenance employees and inmate crews removed trash from state rights-of-way.

Though many of the Southwest District’s 32 counties got rain April 7 and crews picked up fewer miles of rights-of-way than last year’s event, the amount of trash didn’t decrease:



Centerline miles picked up



Bags collected



Cost (labor, equipment, supplies)







“It tells me the amount of litter is increasing,” Southwest District Maintenance Engineer Stacy Aultman said. “That’s taxpayer money that we could be using for something else if people would not litter.”

Statewide in 2013, Georgia DOT spent more than $12.8 million removing litter and collected more than 151,000 bags of trash. The most commonly found items during roadside clean ups are cigarette butts, fast food wrappers and aluminum cans. Much of the litter on interstates is debris from unsecured loads.

Litter Pick Up Week is timed to clean up rights-of-way before mowing starts to prevent further clutter of the roadside. DOT maintenance crews mow from April through the end of June. Motorists are reminded to slow down as they approach work zones and stay at least 100 feet behind mowers to avoid debris that could be propelled by mower blades. Help keep our state routes clean year round by properly disposing of trash and using a tarp to cover items being transported in truck beds.

Georgia DOT’s southwest district encompasses the counties of Atkinson, Baker, Ben Hill, Berrien, Brooks, Calhoun, Clay, Clinch, Coffee, Colquitt, Cook, Crisp, Decatur, Dougherty, Early, Echols, Grady, Irwin, Lanier, Lee, Lowndes, Miller, Mitchell, Quitman, Randolph, Seminole, Terrell, Thomas, Tift, Turner, Wilcox and Worth.

Picking up the tons of trash that litter Georgia’s highways costs the Department of Transportation more than $11 million every year.   Those funds – your tax dollars – could be put to much better use if motorists and their passengers would be more thoughtful and considerate.   For more information on Georgia DOT, please visit www.dot.ga.gov or subscribe to our Press Release RSS feed.  You also may follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/GeorgiaDOT) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/gadeptoftrans).