Fall Sweep Initiative Helps Area

Published 10:54 am Thursday, October 3, 2013

If you enjoy North Carolina’s natural beauty, consider showing the state how much you appreciate it by lending a hand during the N.C. Department of Transportation’s 2013 Fall Litter Sweep. Scheduled from Saturday, Sept. 21, through Saturday, Oct. 5, Fall Litter Sweep offers volunteers the opportunity to help keep North Carolina clean and beautiful by picking up trash along roadsides across the state.

 “Fall Litter Sweep is a way to get all North Carolinians involved in making their communities look better and keeping our roads clean,” said Transportation Secretary Tony Tata. “Each volunteer plays an invaluable role in preserving and protecting the beauty of our state.”

 During the 2013 Spring Litter Sweep, volunteers removed an impressive 1.7 million pounds of roadside litter.

 In addition to volunteers, NCDOT maintenance crews, Adopt-A-Highway groups, N.C. Department of Public Safety inmate squads and community service workers will participate in Fall Litter Sweep.

George Kapetanakis is a Communications Officer with the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

He described some usual features of the Fall Sweep Program.

“What we ask is for volunteers to get together with family or friends to group together and collectively pick up litter from the roadsides,” said Kapetankis.

More trash is concentrated where there are more motorists and more people.

“There are any number of things that are picked up the most. It could be fast food containers or drink bags.  It could be things like construction materials,” said Kapetankis.

There are convenience centers available to take trash to. Bags of metal and glass have to be taken separately and put in their proper container.

 Volunteers should contact their local NCDOT county maintenance office to obtain cleanup supplies. A list of local NCDOT contacts, as well as forms, posters and other materials, can be found here. For more information, visit the Litter Sweep website or call 1-800-331-586.

 Visit the Keep NC Beautiful website for details on how you could win a cash prize for finding an unusual piece of litter.

 NCDOT reminds volunteers that safety is always the number one priority when working on the roadside, and children between the ages of 12 and 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

 The North Carolina State Highway Patrol will be on alert and policing roads for those who litter. Littering is unlawful and offenders upon conviction, can be fined up to $2,000; receive a point on their driver’s license and be sentenced to community service work. Fines can also be doubled upon a second conviction.