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Caltrans cleans litter off North Coast roadways

EUREKA- Caltrans crews lined the highway near Humboldt Hill on Thursday, picking up garbage lining the roadway. Crews throughout the state were doing the same thing as part of Litter Day, a statewide campaign by the agency to bring attention to the problem.

Last year, Caltrans picked up more than 3,100 cubic yards of litter, enough to fill more than 190 garbage trucks. In Eureka, thirty bags filled a Caltrans truck by mid morning.

Scott Burger, Public Information Officer for Caltrans District 1, said litter and graffiti along Humboldt and Del Norte roads is a growing problem. "Litter is a growing issue in our area, and statewide litter is a big issue.

Burger said the most common item picked up is cigarette butts. He said they can be the source of roadside fires, clogged storm drains and threaten water quality.

Crews were also out painting over graffiti. "Graffiti is a growing problem," said Burger.

The Adopt-A-Highway program has helped to reduce the problem. Volunteers participating in the program have helped to save taxpayers an estimated $16.7 million dollars annually reports Caltrans.