LEBANON, Ohio (WKRC) – Litter. It’s a big problem that never seems to go away.
Take a drive really anywhere and you’ll find some trash along a roadway. City streets and highways, no matter, it’s everywhere. While it might seem no one cares, it’s just the opposite, however. It’s just not that easy to keep the interstates litter-free every day.
“It’s a never-ending battle. We always have litter, and that’s the sad fact of the matter,” said ODOT District 8 Public Information Officer Kathleen Fuller.
ODOT is responsible for cleaning up trash along state and federal highways outside of cities. Inside, it’s up to that city. On one stretch of the Norwood Lateral near Section Road, there’s trash everywhere along the shoulder. Interim Superintendent of Public Works Clint Zimmerman says the city is aware of the litter and is working to clean it up.
The penalty for littering in Ohio is $500, but good luck catching someone in the act, says Fuller.
"It’s hard to catch people littering. It’s very hard to do,” said Fuller.
Helping ODOT in cleanup efforts are inmates at the Lebanon Correctional Institution and workers from the Center for Employment Opportunities.
“That is a tremendous benefit to us. It saves time, money, puts our manpower to work to maintain the roadways, repair the roadways,” said Fuller. "When you’re looking at the equipment, the manpower to pick up litter, we are spending about $4 million a year statewide.
Fuller says the top three items thrown out of cars on the highway are beverage containers, tires and fast food bags and wrappers.
To report litter, click here.