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RALEIGH — As part of its litter removal efforts, N.C. Department of Transportation crews, contractors and volunteers have now collected more than 3 million pounds of litter from roadsides this year.

“This is great progress towards making North Carolina cleaner and safer,” said state Transportation Secretary Eric Boyette. “But the real challenge will be sustaining these litter-free roadways. We must all work towards stopping litter at its source.”

NCDOT reports that the agency and its partners have removed 3.1 million pounds of litter since Jan. 1.

North Carolinians who wish to help keep roads clean can volunteer for the upcoming Spring Litter Sweep from April 10-24. The coordinator for Spring Litter Sweep efforts in Watauga is Jamie Wood; Wood can be contacted at (336) 903-9243. The Watauga maintenance office — to gather supplies — can be contacted at (828) 268-6040.

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

More information about the Spring Litter Sweep can be found at www.ncdot.gov/initiatives-policies/environmental/litter-management/Pages/litter-sweep.aspx.

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

NCDOT encourages everyone to 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. Keep a litter bag in the vehicle so you can properly dispose of trash later.

• Recycling when possible. Recycling protects the environment, saves landfill space and keeps the community clean.

More information about NCDOT and it’s programs – such as Sponsor-A-Highway or Adopt-A-Highway — can be found at www.ncdot.gov.

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