Garbage along the Interstate 440 Beltline and other roads in Raleigh continues to pile up, and the City Council plans to discuss the issue next week with state Department of Transportation representatives.
"It's amazing to see the trash along the side of the road. You'll see full bumpers of cars. I've seen Christmas trees along the side of the highway," driver Bruce Friend said. "Frankly, it's an embarrassment to our greater Triangle area. We would like to have out-of-town visitors and even people who live here see a cleaner environment as they drive down the road."
City Councilman Rodger Koopman said he is looking forward to the report from the DOT next Tuesday to find out what is being done to clean up city roads.
"Littering is on the increase, and that is a concern for many different reasons," Koopman said. "Raleigh is known to be a very nice place. When you drive in and see all this litter on the road, you may wonder, 'What kind of place really is it?'"
The litter began piling up last July when the state Department of Correction suspended its practice of using inmate work crews to pick up trash along highways.
The move came after inmate Charles Wilson was killed by a vehicle while on a trash detail along Interstate 40. The correction and transportation departments reached an agreement this week to resume the inmate crews.
"To me, that's a lack of having an alternative plan, and in the meantime, it created the situation that we currently have," Friend said.
Wake County also recently began using off-duty deputies to catch litterbugs, which officials said could start cutting down on the trash on area roads.