Starting Monday, March 16, 2009, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) will switch its Maintenance operations from snow removal to spring cleaning. RIDOT crews will be joined by crews from the Adult Correctional Institutions (ACI) to pick up litter across the State. This week, nearly 150 RIDOT staff members will be out collecting litter, along with a minimum of five, five-person ACI crews.
“We at RIDOT take pride in the condition of our state roadway system. That’s why starting this week, we will be out in full force looking for litter one highway at a time,” said RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis. “Subsequent weeks will be spent with other spring cleaning Maintenance-related duties, such as litter pickup, brush clearing, grass cutting and weed whacking.”
The biggest litter problems in Rhode Island are beverage containers, including water, soda and alcohol bottles, fast food packaging, and cigarette butts. Nationally the top three litter problems are fast food waste, paper products, and aluminum beer cans.
RIDOT Staff and ACI crews will focus on the highly traveled areas of Interstates 95, 195 and 295 and Routes 146, 6, 10, 44, 4 and 1. Most roadside litter occurs intentionally by people dropping their trash on the road. In addition, trash blowing out of uncovered trucks or falling off of unsecured loads is also an issue locally and nationally.