The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) held a statewide Litter Removal Day and Enforcement Day on Thursday, April 21 to pick up litter, trash and debris along the state highway system and to educate the public about this costly issue.
Caltrans District 10 employees picked up 1,552 bags of litter, trash and debris in its eight counties – Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, Mariposa, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Tuolumne.
Locally, Escalon resident Jeff Hoxsie was involved by working a stretch of Highway 120 in memory of Diane Elaine Smith, and he periodically does the clean up in her honor, cleaning up from Campbell to Victory.
For more information on the Adopt-A-Highway Program, visit www.adopt-a-highway.dot.ca.gov or call Kathy Cockayne, District 10 Adopt-A-Highway Coordinator, at (209) 948-7462.
The best anti-litter campaign is to ensure trash never makes it onto the highways in the first place. Caltrans encourages residents to carry a litter bag in your automobile and always dispose of trash properly; never discard cigarette or cigar refuse improperly; always cover and properly secure loads of trucks and pick-ups.
With everyone doing their part, Caltrans officials note that we can keep California clean for today and the future.
Last year, Caltrans spent $76 million to remove 153,000 cubic yards of litter, trash and debris throughout the State Highway System, collecting enough litter to fill almost 10,000 garbage trucks. Parked end-to-end, those trucks would stretch more than 51 miles.
In addition to the economic costs, litter presents a wide range of serious threats to the ecosystem and human health: Wildlife suffers from plastics in the environment; roadside vegetation is damaged by large debris; fires are started from burning cigarettes and threaten human health; harmful chemicals and biohazards cause a serious threat to human health; litter clogs roadway drainage systems and can lead to wet-weather highway flooding, congestion, and accidents. Litter aids in the spread of disease.
Caltrans officials ask you to remember – and abide by – their slogans: Slow For the Cone Zone and Don’t Trash California.