ST. LOUIS — If you have driven down any of the St. Louis area interstates recently, you may have seen a problem piling up along the road.
“I travel the highways every day,” said Kelly Anderson. “I’m on all of the major interstates, and there’s just such a pileup of litter everywhere, and I think it’s disgusting.”
According to a MoDOT spokesperson, Missouri spends roughly $6-million per year to try and keep the roads clear, but Anderson said it’s not working.
“You see tires, you see bumpers, and that shouldn’t be left because that can be a real safety issue,” said Anderson.
“We try to remove as much trash as we can from the shoulders and the sides of the roads,” said IDOT engineer Joseph Monroe.
IDOT Engineer Joseph Monroe says all IDOT District 8 road crews must spend at least a week on roadway cleanup on a rotating basis.
“From an environmental and an aesthetic standpoint, we want the state of Illinois to be very presentable and welcoming,” said Monroe.
Monroe says that can be a challenge during the winter months when crews are focused on clearing snow, spreading salt, and patching potholes.
“It is an important effort, but it’s hard to say picking up trash is more important than filling a pothole or fixing a bridge joint,” said Monroe. “We’ve got to find a way to allocate the resources.”
That’s why IDOT is trying to partner with the Department of Corrections to try and control the clutter.
“It really takes a team effort,” said Monroe. “Obviously, the best thing would be for everyone not to litter at all, and for all of the trash trucks to be properly tarped.”
“It’s like we don’t care about our city, the people that are tossing it out the window,” said Anderson. “It’s disgusting and embarrassing.”
Adopt a Highway Programs save Illinois and Missouri each more than $1-million per year.
MoDOT cannot contain the perpetuating litter issue alone and encourages volunteering efforts through the Adopt-A-Highway program.
To report debris in the roadway to MoDOT you can call: 888-ASK-MODOT
To report debris on Illinois roadways, contact the Illinois Department of Transportation at 618-346-3245 or the Collinsville district at 618-346-3990
At KSDK we’re focused on you, so if there’s an issue you would like Holden to look into send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.