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STATE: Litter removal picking up across area as Litter Sweep nears

As part of a statewide effort, North Carolina transportation officials and their partners have  ramped up roadside litter removal in Division 10 which includes Anson, Cabarrus, Mecklenburg, Stanly and Union counties.

Since January, more than 2 million pounds of trash have been collected statewide by N.C. Department of Transportation crews, contract forces, Adopt-A-Highway and Sponsor-A-Highway groups, and other volunteers. The division’s share is over 431,000 pounds, including more than 348,000 pounds just for Mecklenburg County.

“We have an ongoing battle with trash and debris that litters our roadsides,” says Division 10 Engineer Brett Canipe. “Our in-house crews and contractors are making a concerted effort to keep them clear. We’re asking the public to partner with us by making sure loads are secure and covered before traveling, and by disposing of trash in the right place, not on the side of the road.”

Volunteers are also needed to keep the effort going.

NCDOT traditionally schedules a two-week period in April and September to amplify cleanup across the state. Residents can visit www.ncdot.gov/littersweep to get more information about next month’s Spring Litter Sweep and contact a local county coordinator to get involved.

The local NCDOT maintenance office will provide volunteers with supplies such as trash bags, gloves, and safety vests.

Another way to get involved is through the Adopt-A-Highway program, an initiative in place since 1988 where groups can adopt a two-mile section of roadway to clean up to four times a year. Interested parties can learn more and apply here.