Warmer weather means it is time for spring cleaning – and Indiana’s highways are no exception. Each year, INDOT and Adopt-A-Highway groups conduct a major statewide effort to clean up Indiana’s highways during Trash Bash.
For more than a dozen years, INDOT workers, Adopt-A-Highway volunteers and Department of Correction (DOC) crews have joined forces to spring clean Indiana interstates during Trash Bash. Each year, hundreds of tons of trash are collected and Indiana highways are spruced up in time for the summer driving season.
In 2015, for example, clean-up crews collected 22,542 bags of trash and 8,456 cubic yards of loose debris from 1,151 miles of state highways and rights-of-way.
Dates for Trash Bash 2017 will be announced in the coming weeks.
Motorists should be on the lookout for crew-up crews along Indiana highways. When drivers encounter a work crew, they should slow down and be alert for changing traffic patterns.
Litter is a costly problem. According to Keep America Beautiful, Inc., people litter because:
- They feel no sense of ownership, even though their taxes pay for the upkeep of roads, parks and beaches.
- They believe it is someone else's job to pick up after them.
- Litter has already accumulated.
Although motorists and pedestrians are often blamed for littering along roadsides, there are actually seven primary sources. These include household trash handling and placement, business dumpsters, loading docks, construction and demolition truck loads, uncovered truck loads, pedestrians, and motorists.
Litter is blown away by wind and traffic or carried by water. It moves until trapped by a curb, building or fence. Once litter has accumulated, it invites people to add more.
Each year, INDOT must spend money and employee man hours picking up litter along state highways and roads. This money and time could be better spent improving Indiana's roadways or rest areas rather than litter pick-up.
Suggestions for Keeping Indiana Beautiful
To help keep Indiana highways clean, restore our state's natural beauty, and save tax dollars, please follow these steps:
- Set an example for others, especially children, by not littering.
- Carry a litter bag in your car.
- Make sure trash cans have lids that can be securely fastened. If you have curbside trash collection, don't put loose trash in boxes or untied bags.
- Tie papers in a bundle before placing them in a curbside recycling bin.
- If you own a business, check dumpsters daily to see that top and side doors are closed.
- Report areas where people have illegally dumped garbage and debris to your local transportation, public works or conservation office, and ask that the material be removed.
- If you or a member of your family is involved in a civic group, scouting or recreational sports program, encourage the group to join the Adopt-A-Highway Program. Visit the Adopt-A-Highway Program web page or call 1-866-849-1368 for more information.
How to Volunteer
If you or your group is interested in volunteering for Trash Bash 2016 please contact your local district to register your group.
To inquire about Trash Bash, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Roadside Services Coordinator
Indiana Department of Transportation
100 N. Senate Ave., IGCN 901
Indianapolis, IN 46204