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Every spring, as snow and ice fade into a memory, attention turns to trash that has accumulated on roadsides during the winter months.

The Missouri Department of Transportation invites all who use Missouri roads to join it in doing some spring cleaning throughout the month of April.

MoDOT spends about $6 million annually to remove litter from more than 385,000 acres of right of way along 34,000 state highway miles. “No MOre Trash! Bash” is an annual outreach of MoDOT’s year-round litter control efforts.

“We are asking all Missourians to find ways to help clean Missouri’s roadsides during the Trash Bash month of April,” said Becky Allmeroth, MoDOT chief safety and operations officer. “We ask our Adopt-A-Highway volunteer groups to pick up their sections, and anyone can do a one-time volunteer effort, including community groups or clubs or any individual interested doing community service hours.”

MoDOT will provide trash bags and safety vests to anyone who volunteers.  Regionally, events will be announced that people can come join in the litter pickup.

“Missouri was one of the first states in the country to implement the Adopt-A-Highway program,” Allmeroth said. “Now in its 35th year in our state, Adopt-a-Highway has recruited volunteers who perform about $1 million a year in litter cleanup. Every section served by adopters allows MoDOT to devote resources to other much-needed tasks.”

There are more than 5,300 groups and 50,000 volunteers who have adopted more than 6,400 miles of roadway. Adopt-A-Highway groups include commercial and private enterprises; civic and non-profit organizations; families and individuals.

One of the easiest ways to help combat litter is not to create it in the first place.

Remember these simple tips:

Don’t litter. Keep a bag for trash in your car or truck and wait to dispose of it properly. Littering is a class A misdemeanor in Missouri. Anyone convicted of littering may be imprisoned in the county jail for up to one year and fined up to $1,000 per incident. Illegal disposal of solid waste may be punishable as a Class D felony with fines of $20,000 or higher.

Secure the load. Make sure nothing blows out or gets bumped into the roadway. In addition to creating litter, unsecured loads can be a safety hazard to the vehicles behind you. Missouri statutes (Missouri Revised Statutes 307.010) and various city ordinances require all loads in transport must be secured. Trailers without sides must be completely covered by tarps, truck tailgates must be up and the disposal items cannot be hanging off the vehicle in any way. Any vehicle without its load completely covered will be assessed a $25 unsecured load fee.

To learn more about how you can safely participate, visit www.modot.org/adopt-highway or call 888-ASK-MODOT (888-275-6636). 

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