Local News

Group Wants to Rid Roads of Litter

Posted March 30, 1998 6:00 a.m. EST

— For all of North Carolina's great views, roadside trash makes almost every scene ugly. Some North Carolinians say they are sick of trash and trying to do something about it.

Former N.C. Senator Tim Valentine says the state needs to pay more attention to trash.

Now a grassroots group is organizing to do something about the condition of the state's roads. According to Helen Landi of the N.C. Department of Transportation, roadside litter has gotten so bad that some Adopt-A-Highway volunteers have given up, despite their best intentions.

Show up at any roadside and you'll find all sorts of trash. The main proposal to try to get it off the road will attempt to make it easier for law enforcement officers to issue littering tickets. Currently, all parties involved have to show up in court. Lois Nixon of Wake County Keep America Beautiful says the system needs streamlining.

A state environmental panel will look into tougher litter laws next month. It will be up to the General Assembly to decide what should happen to folks who are treating our scenic highways like a dumping ground.

North Carolina currently spends $3 million a year to clean up its highways. Virginia spends about $8 million annually.