HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – PennDOT is encouraging drivers not to litter, saying the cleanup costs millions that could be better spent elsewhere.
PennDOT officials said just over $9 million was spent cleaning up litter and debris from along roads last year. Between 2014 and 2018, the department spent a total of $65 million, and in each of 2015 and 2016, the cost was more than $15 million.
”With the money that we spend picking up litter in Pennsylvania, we could be doing other highway maintenance activities, like refilling potholes and paving the road,” PennDOT deputy communications director Jan Huzvar said.
PennDOT is teaming up with the Department of Environmental Protection and Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful to hold a litter summit in November. They will be looking for solutions and at the root causes of why people litter in the first place.
There are fines for littering, but the law is difficult to enforce.
“Picking up trash is not a good problem solver; it just perpetuates the problem,” Huzvar said. “We have to do something a little bit more, and that’s try to change behaviors.”