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LITTER BUGS — Roadside litter collections are on track to exceed a record 10.5 million pounds this year, according to NCDOT, which is asking people to sign up for the annual Fall Litter Sweep.

N.C. Department of Transportation crews, contractors and volunteers are on track to pick up a record amount of litter from the state’s roadsides this year.

More than 8 million pounds of litter have been picked up as of early July, according to NCDOT, and collections this year are on track to exceed the record 10.5 million pounds of litter collected in 2019.

“We’re less than two months from our annual Fall Litter Sweep, and we’re counting on everyone to help keep this momentum going,” said 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.”

NCDOT’s litter management programs are multifaceted and use state-owned forces and contract services statewide.

Its Sponsor-A-Highway Program allows businesses, organizations and individuals to sponsor litter removal along roadsides, while more than 120,000 volunteers pledge to clean a section of highway at least four times a year through the Adopt-A-Highway Program.

Litter cleanups have already cost NCDOT $10.78 million so far this year.

Litter collection along roads in Haywood County has totaled 42,720 pounds so far this year.

That’s an increase from the 15,900 pounds of litter collected in 2020, but down from 72,660 pounds of litter collected in 2019 and the 46,905 pounds in litter collected in 2018. It’s also more than the 34,860 pounds of litter collected so far this from roadways in Jackson County, according to NCDOT data.

NCDOT is organizing its annual Fall Litter Sweep for Sept. 11-25 and asking people to volunteer to help clean up the litter. To sign up, visit ncdot.gov/littersweep.

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