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On Earth Day ODOT Reports it Spends 10 Million Per Year Cleaning Up Trash on US Routes


COLUMBUS — As spring blooms and Earth Day is celebrated, the scourge of litter serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing human impact on the environment.

Jack Marchbanks, Director of the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), highlighted the ongoing effort to combat litter, noting that highway crews have been diligently patrolling for litter throughout the year, with over 89,000 bags of trash collected statewide since January.

“With the arrival of spring and increased travel, litter becomes more visible. We urge everyone to do their part in keeping our roads and natural spaces clean,” Marchbanks emphasized.

On Earth Day, many of Ohio’s 1,400 Adopt-A-Highway groups are actively participating in cleanup efforts, honoring their commitment to maintaining litter-free highways.

Diane Bovee, representing the First Universalist Church in Lyons, shared their long-standing dedication to highway cleanup, with a recent litter pickup along their adopted section of State Route 120 in Fulton County. “We’ve been doing this for close to 30 years. It’s just the right thing to do,” she emphasized.

Similarly, the Columbus Grove Lions Club in Putnam County, engaged in the program since 1991, is scheduled for a cleanup session along their section of State Route 65.

Tim Staley, a club member, highlighted the sense of community pride driving their efforts: “It’s about pride in your community. When it’s done, and it looks good, you take pride in it.”

Staley praised ODOT’s support, providing essential equipment for their cleanup endeavors.

Apart from Adopt-A-Highway groups, litter collection along state highways is conducted by various entities, including the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections (ODRC), Interstate Business Solutions (IBS), and the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO).

ODOT’s commitment to combating litter extends to partnerships with these organizations, with an annual expenditure of $10 million for trash collection along state and U.S. routes.