FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MARYSVILLE – Caltrans is resuming maintenance operations to remove trash along state highways and freeways throughout California, including the Sacramento Valley and Sierra region.
Litter removal was limited during the current COVID-19 public health crisis to protect the health and safety of Caltrans crews. Due to the accumulation of trash on the state highways, Caltrans crews today, along with the Adopt-A-Highway program, are picking up garbage statewide and removing items abandoned on the side of the road.
Highway litter ranks as the No. 1 complaint by motorists. Last year, Caltrans District 3 maintenance and Adopt-A-Highway volunteers collected 4,890 cubic yards of trash strewn along 3,081 shoulder miles in Butte, Colusa, Glenn, Sierra, Sutter, Yuba, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, El Dorado and Yolo counties.
Statewide, Caltrans spends nearly $70 million a year on litter removal and last year alone collected 287,000 cubic yards of litter—enough to fill 18,000 garbage trucks. Of that total, 35 percent resulted from efforts by the department’s community programs, saving California millions of dollars.
In addition to the millions of dollars spent cleaning up trash from the state highway system, litter presents a wide range of serious threats to the environment and human health; wildlife suffers from plastics in the ecosystem; roadside landscaping is damaged by large debris; fires are started from burning cigarettes; harmful chemicals and biohazards cause a serious health threat; and litter clogs roadway drainage systems, leading to highway flooding and impacting water quality.
The California Highway Patrol actively enforces California’s anti-littering laws, ticketing motorists seen littering the highways or driving with unsecured cargo loads. Last year, CHP officers issued more than 3,100 citations for littering, and roughly one-third of those violations involved a lit cigarette.
For more information on the Caltrans Adopt-A-Highway Program, please visit Adopt-A-Highway or call Audrey Milligan-Parrish, District 3 Adopt-A-Highway coordinator, at (530) 741-4002.
Caltrans encourages motorists to “Be Work Zone Alert”, to “Slow for the Cone Zone” and “Move Over” whenever it is safe to do so when amber or flashing lights indicate the presence of highway workers or emergency personnel on the roadway.
The department issues construction and maintenance work updates on Twitter @CaltransDist3 and on Facebook at CaltransDistrict3. For real-time traffic, click on Caltrans’ QuickMap or download the QuickMap app from the App Store or Google Play.