Mother Nature has been relentless this winter, snow has finally melted, temperatures are warming up and that means it’s time to begin the Indiana Department of Transportation’s (INDOT’s) spring cleaning. The Annual Trash Bash takes place from April 5-27, 2014 and coincides with National Earth Day to aid in raising awareness of litter.
Each year, INDOT and Adopt-A-Highway groups conduct a major statewide effort to clean up Indiana’s highways during Trash Bash.
For more than a dozen years, INDOT workers, Adopt-A-Highway volunteers and Department of Correction (DOC) crews have joined forces to spring clean Indiana interstates during Trash Bash. Each year, hundreds of tons of trash are collected and Indiana highways are spruced up in time for the summer driving season.
In 2013, for example, clean-up crews collected 20,678 bags of trash and 1,256 cubic yards of loose debris from 3,417 miles of state highways and rights-of-way. More than 1,600 Adopt-A-Highway volunteers logged 6,616 hours in this effort, along with additional hours by INDOT and DOC crews. The cost savings for INDOT taxpayers for these Adopt-A-Highway volunteers totaled more than $98,000.
Motorists should be on the lookout for Trash Bash crews along Indiana highways. When drivers encounter a work crew, they should slow down and be alert for changing traffic patterns.
Litter is a costly problem. According to Keep America Beautiful, Inc., people litter because:
• The feel no sense of ownership, even though their taxes pay for the upkeep of roads, parks and beaches.
• They believe it is someone else’s job to pick up after them.
• Litter has already accumulated.
Although motorists and pedestrians are often blamed for littering along roadsides, there are actually seven primary sources. These include household trash handling and placement, business dumpsters, loading docks, construction and demolition truck loads, uncovered truck loads, pedestrians and motorists.