Now that the snow has melted and the sun is shining, it's hard to ignore trash on the side of the road as you drive down Interstate 81. The State Department of Transportation says they're picking up litter as much as they can. Public Information Officer with the State D.O.T. Gene Cilento says with staff reductions and aging infrastructure, trash pick-up is no longer priority number one.
"They're taking care of the safety as the infrastructure dictates it. Trash pickup is a cosmetic thing and they do it when they can," says Cilento.
It doesn't mean it's safe to take matters into your own hands.
"I know it's very tempting if you see trash up there just to go ahead and do it but please stay away. Let the trained people do it," says Cilento.
If you want to do your part
register with OCRRA for the 22nd annual Earth Day Litter Clean Up this weekend. Ann Fordock, a recycling specialist with OCCRA says the benefit of doing it with them, is being able to take advantage of their resources.
"We keep track of where you're cleaning. So you don't go out with your whole family Saturday morning to clean up a street and find out it has already been cleaned up Friday," says Fordock.
A tip to keep in mind and share with your kids is what to do if you find a bottle with a liquid inside of it. Your instinct may be to recycle it, but OCRRA says just throw it out because you can't be sure about what's inside the bottle.
"Once it rains, that litter goes somewhere. It's going to go into your lakes, your streams, your tributaries. So we want to keep this litter picked up. It's not just an eye sore," says Fordock.
To take the opportunity to clean your community, one piece of litter at a time, register here.