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NORTH WILKESBORO – The North Carolina Department of Transportation’s crews, contractors and volunteers have collected more than 10 million pounds of litter from roadsides, nearly breaking the state’s record for litter collection set in 2019.

This announcement comes on the heels of the two-week Fall Litter Sweep, which saw more than 418,000 pounds of roadside litter picked up statewide.

“Keeping our roadsides litter-free is a responsibility we all share, and we can all take small steps to keep our area beautiful,” Division 11 Engineer Mike Pettyjohn said. “We all prefer the see the beauty instead of the trash.”

More than 422,000 pounds of litter has been collected since Jan. 1 in Division 11, which includes Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Caldwell, Surry, Watauga, Wilkes and Yadkin counties. Much of Division 11’s success is owed, in part, to the 236 Adopt-A-Highway groups in the division. The department is always looking for more volunteer groups. Interested participants should visit ncdot.gov/DontTrashNC to see how they can get involved.

NCDOT officials estimate that the agency and its partners will break the 2019 record of 10.5 million pounds collected within a month.

If a community member spots someone littering from a vehicle, report them with NCDOT’s Swat-A-Litterbug app by downloading the app at ncdot.gov/litter.

Litter is unsightly, costs millions of dollars to clean up and can hurt the environment, tourism and the state’s quality of life. Everyone can do their part to prevent roadside litter by following these tips:

  • Always secure a load.
  • Clear truck beds of any and all trash and debris before driving.
  • Never toss garbage from a vehicle.

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