COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) —
Empty bottles, sandwich wrappers, even a box of donuts were items found littering Central Ohio roads.
Typically, ABC 6/FOX 28 wouldn’t spot this sort of trash until spring time, but warm temperatures mean there is no snow covering up the eyesore.
Trash was spotted trash along I-71, I-670, SR 315 and more.
“Litter is a year-round problem, ” said Joel Hunt, who’s in charge of ODOT highway beautification.
It’s a problem with a big price tag.
“Litter costs ODOT $4 million-a-year and that money could be used in other ways, more important ways, ” said Hunt. “We could pave a two-lane, ten-mile road.”
ODOT crews, prison inmates, volunteers and more have been out picking up the trash often thrown from cars or that breaks free from garbage trucks. Paying workers to clear trash as well as prison guards to watch over inmates as they clean gets pricey. Now, the agency is trying to educate the public to prevent littering.
“We really want people to keep the trash in their cars until they get to their destination, ” he said.
That’s what people who live near the highway want too. Sterling Webb has lived in a neighborhood off Interstate 71 for almost 10 years. Part of the problem is location. He says lines of cars waiting to get to Mapfre Stadium dump trash from their windows.
“That is why you see so much stuff on the side of the highway, ” said Webb.
He’s tired of seeing litter flood his street.