Local News

NC hosting Litter Sweep April 14-28

Posted April 10, 2012

— North Carolina taxpayers paid nearly $15 million last year for the state to pick up more than 7 million pounds of roadside trash, and authorities around the state wrote more than 4,000 littering citations.

To combat the trash, the state is having a spring Litter Sweep April 14-28. Volunteers, state Department of Transportation crews, inmates and community service workers will spread out, collecting trash from roads.

“Litter’s a big problem,” said George Kapetanakis, program manager of NCDOT’s Office of Beautification. “Bags, drink containers, helmets, coolers, and the list goes on and on.”

Littering is illegal in North Carolina. If convicted, violators can face fines of up to $2,000 or have to do community service.

North Carolina resident Michael Nelson smokes. He also likes to fish and says that’s one reason he doesn’t throw his cigarette butts on the ground.

“I don't want to pull out a big ole' puppy drum and find him full of cigarette butts,” he said. “We're all responsible for cleaning up after ourselves.”

Those who want to participate in the Litter Sweep can contact their local DOT county maintenance office. Orange safety vests, orange trash bags, blue recycling bags and gloves will be available. Some counties will also have pickup sticks.

After the cleanup, call the NCDOT county maintenance office to ask for the trash-filled orange bags to be picked up from the roadside.

The following materials are also available on NCDOT’s website:

  • Gov. Bev Perdue's Litter Sweep proclamation
  • Litter Sweep poster and listing of NCDOT telephone numbers
  • Certificate of appreciation form
  • Keep North Carolina Beautiful Most Unusual Litter Contest form. Cash prizes will be awarded for the most unusual litter found
  • Safety rules and hazardous materials safety alert
  • Litter Sweep planning a roadside cleanup sheet

Call the Litter Sweep Hotline (800-331-5864) for more information.


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  • loprestw Apr 11, 2012

    Why are we paying for this? How about everyone on welfare, wic, food stamps and/or unemployment get out there and pick up the trash. Try and earn the money they get for nothing!

  • busyb97 Apr 11, 2012

    And CIGARETTE BUTTS DO COUNT! People think nothing of throwing them out! So irritating.

  • common tater Apr 11, 2012

    The worst offender I've seen is the garbage trucks. They drive down the road and the waste they have collected is flying out the back to litter the roads. Same with pickup truck drivers who throw their trash in the bed, knowing it may fly out.

  • f6rider Apr 10, 2012

    I would love to see more law enforcement officers staking out looking for the people throwing their trash out on the road sides!!!

  • piene2 Apr 10, 2012

    The way people on north Carolina litter we might as well close the landfills and empty the garbage trucks along the roadsides.

  • jlsehon Apr 10, 2012

    There are 38,673 inmates in the NC Prison System, we have 100,104 probationers and 3,458 parolees...Why does the state spend 15 million dollars to pick up trash. I too hate to see the trash on the highways etc., but we can control some of the spending too and utilize a manpower resource quickly available!!!

  • TBClayton Apr 10, 2012

    Wonder why they don't communicate the swat-a-litterbug website?
    This is a great way to make people aware that others care and are watching.
    We cannot give up, it's up to us to make this a better place to live!

  • OGE Apr 10, 2012

    this won't make a difference people act like animals when they litter...I see it all the time at my part time job...a gas station.

    I love it when they do it while they are pumping so I can go over to ask them why they can't throw away their trash 4 feet away. The look I get is generally a blank..duh!

  • wattsun Apr 10, 2012

    Can't stand it when I see smokers dump there ash trays in parking lots and in public.