Guess how many bags of trash volunteers and inmates collected last year along Ohio highways? 400,000.
The Ohio Department of Transportation says that amounts to 10 bags of trash for every lane mile of state and federal routes in Ohio.
The litter pick up cost ODOT more than $4 million – cash that could have been used to buy 28 new snow plows or pave 28 miles, state officials said.
ODOT Director Jerry Wray said in a written release: “Not only is it expensive to pick up, but it takes us away from more important work, like pothole patching, culvert replacements and guardrail repairs.”
Some 1,500 groups participate in ODOT’s Adopt-A-Highway program, which uses volunteers to clean two-mile stretches of highway at least four times a year for two years. This effort nets 25,000 bags of trash, which saves ODOT $280,000.