Even in these trying times, Missouri Department of Transportation maintenance crews continue their work to make state roadways safer for those who travel. One way motorists can help is by exercising their responsibility to keep Missouri highways free of litter.

Even in these trying times, Missouri Department of Transportation maintenance crews continue their work to make state roadways safer for those who travel. One way motorists can help is by exercising their responsibility to keep Missouri highways free of litter.

“Every cigarette butt, food wrapper, soda can and plastic bag thrown out of a moving vehicle creates ugly debris, detracts from the safety and beauty of Missouri’s roadsides and adds to the workload of our maintenance employees who are already operating under challenging conditions,” said Natalie Roark, state highway maintenance director.

Last year, MoDOT spent $6.4 million to remove litter from more than 385,000 acres of roadsides along 34,000 state highway miles.

“This is the time of year when we see a lot of debris on our highways,” Roark said. “The snow has melted away, and the winds have picked up - revealing the ugliness of people’s trash.”

With the department’s annual NoMOreTrash Bash canceled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, MoDOT is seeking even more help in keeping Missouri highways free from litter. Here are some ways you can help:

Don’t litter. Keep a bag for trash in your car or truck and wait to dispose of it properly

Secure the load. Make sure nothing blows out or off of your vehicle into the roadway. In addition to creating litter, unsecured loads can be a safety hazard to the vehicles behind you.

“It all starts with you,” Roark said. “Remember, if you don’t throw it out, we don’t have to pick it up. Every effort by the public to eliminate or clean up litter helps offset our trash removal costs and allows the department to put more money back into maintaining Missouri's roads and bridges.”

For more information, go to MoDOT.org/adopt-highway.