Local News

NC hosting Litter Sweep April 14-28

Posted April 10, 2012 3:37 p.m. EDT
Updated April 10, 2012 7:15 p.m. EDT

— 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.