Roadway trash problem growing in Tri-State - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Roadway trash problem growing in Tri-State

By Dan Wells - bio | email

Spring time means it's a great time to get out for a drive, but if you haven't noticed, it's a little messy out there.

Garbage is piling up on the side of Tri-State roads, and it turns out that several state and local agencies spend hundreds of hours picking up the litter, and you foot the bill.

One of the first things highway travelers see when they enter Cincinnati is trash. It's an eyesore that state officials on both sides of the river say continues to get worse.

"Last year our crews picked up 57,000 bags of litter," said Sharon Smigelski with the Ohio Department of Transportation.

"We did have volunteers that went out for two hours, 30 volunteers and Seventh and Sixth streets and we picked up two tons of litter," said Linda Holterhoff with Keep Cincinnati Beautiful. "It was massive and unbelievable, you know you go buy it so fast that you don't realize how much is out there">

ODOT expects to spend more than $1.5 million this year removing litter from local roads.

"During the day and the night in Hamilton County we have night crews working to fix potholes and pick up litter along the interstate system," said Smigelski.

Add that to work by county, municipal and non-profit clean-up crews, and it's a big job with a big price tag.

And the city actually spends about 200-thousand dollars on the highway to it clean and beautiful and when we do that we know that there is less litter because we have done measurements.">

In Kentucky, the messy business of cleaning-up the trash people throw out of car windows or dump along the roadside has the Bluegrass State spending hours and dollars on local roadways.

"Right now they are on their first cycle well be doing six cycles of picking up litter on 75, 275 and 471, so its a big effort and we're proud of the results," said Nancy Wood with the Kentucky Department of Transportation.

Efforts to keep this type of mess cleaned-up will continue as long as people continue to litter.

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