Litter on Arkansas highways is becoming an ever increasing problem and the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) is asking citizens for help to eliminate one of the contributors, according to AHTD Director Dan Flowers.

An increase in homemade, permanent roadside trash receptacles is a contributor to trash making its way onto the highways and is unsightly on many roadsides throughout the state.

“The problem is increasing all across the state and we need some help to stop this practice,” said Flowers. “Many of these roadside trash bins are playgrounds for animals, resulting in trash scattered along the roadsides.”

“We have met with officials from the County J u d g e s Association to discuss this growing concern,” added Flowers. “They are aware of the problem and have expressed support for our efforts to address this situation.”

A solution to this problem is to have owners of the trash receptacles comply with established laws that prohibit encroachments, like the permanently placed trash bins, from being placed within highway rights of way.

According to Flowers, most of the owners of these encroaching receptacles may not realize that it is against the law. The owners contract with local vendors for trash removal and are just not aware of the safety and maintenance issues. Highway officials hope to spread the word to trash pick up vendors and homeowners, and request that the trash bins be removed from the highway right of way.

The AHTD will soon begin placing notices on the illegal trash bins and the owners will have 30 days to remove the bins before they are removed by AHTD employees.

The AHTD spends approximately $5 million per year on expenses related to litter pick up and coordinates several anti-litter activities, including the Adopt-A-Highway Program, the Jail Inmate Litter Pick-up Program, the Parolee Litter Pick-up Program and the Litter Hot Line reporting system.



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