Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

March 21, 2014

Annual Trash Bash set for April 5-27

Statewide effot to clean highway


Greensburg Daily News

---- — 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.

Costly Problem

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.

Litter is blown away by wind and traffic or carried by water. It moves until trapped by a curb, building or fence. Once litter has accumulated, it invites people to add more.

Each year, INDOT must spend money and employee man hours picking up litter along state highways and roads. This money and time could be better spent improving Indiana’s roadways or rest areas rather than little pick-up.

Suggestions for Keeping Indiana Beautiful

To help keep Indiana highways clean, restore our state’s natural beauty, and save tax dollars, please follow these steps:

• Set an example for others, especially children, by not littering.

• Carry a litter bag in your car.

• Make sure trash cans have lids that can be securely fastened. If you have curbside trash collection, don’t put loose trash in boxes or untied bags.

• Tie papers in a bundle before placing them in a curbside recycling bin.

• If you own a business, check dumpsters daily to see that top and side doors are closed.

• Report areas where people have illegally dumped garbage and debris to your local transportation, public works or conservation office, and ask that the material be removed.

If you or a member of your family is involved in a civic group, scouting or recreational sports program, encourage the group to join the Adopt-A-Highway Program. Visit the Adopt-A-Highway Program web page or call 317-232-5533 for more information.

In 2013, the Madison Correctional Facility had one offender work crew that collected 1238 bags of trash along SR 7 and SR 421.

“The Department of Corrections strives to rehabilitate offenders in many ways and cleaning up Hoosier highways is one program that allows them to give back to the community and turn doing time into doing good,” said Indiana Department of Correction Commissioner Bruce Lemmon. “Partnering with INDOT in their Annual Trash Bash and helping brighten up our great state is one of our agency’s favorite activities.”

INDOT reminds motorists to follow the posted work zone speed limit, use caution and consider worker safety when traveling through a work zone. For the latest news and information about INDOT, please visit www.in.gov/indot.

The Madison Correctional Facility is located in Madison on the State Mental Hospital Grounds and was founded in 1989. Madison is a minimum security facility that houses approximately 500 offenders. They have approximately 20 work crews supporting the City of Madison and other community and state agencies. With these partnerships they save the taxpayers of Indiana thousands of dollars every year.

The Department employs over 6,400 employees and houses 28,000 adults and juveniles in 26 facilities, ranging from minimum to maximum custody, prison camps, juvenile facilities and community re-entry centers.

— Daily News