Adams County road department offers free litterbags for vehicles

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 2, 2000

Adams County Road Manager Russell Dorris hopes to fight roadside litter by offering litterbags to drivers throughout Adams County.

Roadside litter is &uot;a tremendous problem,&uot; Dorris said.

To combat roadside litter, the Adams County Road Department is giving away free litterbags with the help of several state agencies.

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Residents can pick up the bags at the Adams County Board of Supervisors office on State Street, at the Road Department’s central office on Liberty Road and at its satellite facilities – the District 4 barn on Foster Mound Road, the District 3 barn on Palestine Road and the maintenance barn on Majorca Road.

The idea is to encourage people to deposit their trash in the bag instead of on the street or in the back of their pickup trucks, where it tends to blow out on the street, Dorris said.

The project is sponsored by several state agencies including Clean and Green Mississippi Campaign, Keep Mississippi Beautiful, the Department of Environmental Quality and the Department of Transportation.

Hopefully the initiative &uot;makes people more aware of disposing litter properly,&uot; Dorris said.

With the bags in their vehicles people can then &uot;deposit the litter in the bag and when they get to an acceptable disposal site … they (can) dispose of the litter and it doesn’t get on the road.&uot;

Litter deposited on the highway is a major problem as well as an expensive problem for Adams County and Mississippi, Dorris said.

Adams County spends more than $100,000 annually to clean up its roadway, with three full-time employees on staff who do nothing but pick up litter.

But, so much litter is thrown on to the roadways you can hardly tell they ever do any work, Dorris said.

By the time they clean up an area it is covered with litter again, he added.

And the cost of litter removal is also high for the state.

The Mississippi Department of Transportation spends more than $2 million annually to pick up litter, Dorris said.

According to figures from MDOT, about 38 percent of trash deposited on roadways is done so accidentally, such as when it blows out of the back of pickups or garbage trucks.

To just cut out that 38 percent would be &uot;a tremendous help&uot; Dorris said.

The figures also reveal that the other 62 percent of trash found on roadways is placed there deliberately. And that 75 percent of roadside litter is produced by the male gender.

It is difficult to determine why that might be the case.

&uot;Generally people litter because they have no sense of ownership,&uot; Dorris said.

Dorris thinks the only way to change this is through education. People need to realize the cost involved in cleaning up their trash, he said.

&uot;It’s their money, It’s their tax dollars,&uot; Dorris said. &uot;It needs to be cleaned up and we have to spend money to do that.&uot;