Litter push removes 11,000 pounds of roadside garbage in Tucson region

ADOT uses added staff and time to address trash problem

TUCSON - In an unprecedented push to remove roadside garbage and debris, 42 Arizona Department of Transportation employees from southern Arizona were recently able to pick up 11,000 pounds of trash and bulk items.I-10 badge

ADOT personnel from Casa Grande, Coolidge, Nogales, Oracle, Three Points, Tucson, and St. David cleaned up a stretch of Interstate 10 from Rita Rd. to Kino Blvd.; a distance of about 11 miles. This portion of the highway is a hot spot for roadside garbage and debris and the cleanup required approximately half of the available ADOT South Central District maintenance staff. 

“We did this because of an overwhelming amount of roadside garbage and debris on ADOT right-of-way,” said Highway Operations Supervisor Fernando Murrietta. “The problem isn’t just how much litter there is, but how it gets there. People throw trash from their vehicle and it’s ADOT crews who live and work in southern Arizona who pick it up. We are part of the solution because we’re cleaning up other peoples’ messes.  Things would be much better if people would be more respectful of the environment.”

Maintenance personnel are available to perform cleanup duties as part of their ongoing work, but their primary responsibility is safety-related work such as guardrail repair, pavement maintenance, right-of-way fence repair to keep livestock off roadways and other similar jobs. 

In addition to ADOT employees, trash cleanups are conducted by volunteer groups as well as state prison inmate crews. Inmate crews have not been available due to COVID-19 restrictions in prison complexes, but are now beginning to return to roadside duties. 

To report roadside trash violations: litter.az.gov

For more information about the ADOT Adopt a Highway program: azdot.gov