WORCESTER – Employees of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) participated in a volunteer cleanup this morning in order to remove litter from state highways throughout Highway District 3 as part of the department’s ongoing effort to maintain a clean and reliable transportation system and preserve the Commonwealth’s natural landscape.
“MassDOT District 3 workers are pleased to say that we picked up over 350 bags of litter from state roadways throughout the Greater Worcester area on Thursday morning,” said Acting MassDOT Highway District 3 Director Barry Lorion. “By removing trash from our state highways, we are helping to protect our natural environment, improve road conditions, and maintain Massachusetts’ scenic beauty. We ask every member of the public to avoid littering and be considerate of our shared spaces so the public can enjoy all that the Commonwealth has to offer.”
Approximately 65 MassDOT Highway District 3 office, construction, operations, and maintenance staff removed litter from areas including sections of I-290, I-190 and Route 146 in Worcester. In the winter months, when snow and icy conditions are prevalent, litter is less accessible to highway workers, and the springtime thaw provides an opportunity to remove it. MassDOT hopes that by keeping highways clean, it will dissuade drivers from adding more trash to the roadside, which can be dangerous for other travelers and harmful to the natural ecosystem that exists along the highway.Every year, MassDOT removes approximately 90,000 bags of litter from its state highways. In addition to clean up efforts by operations and maintenance staff, MassDOT manages several programs and initiatives designed to beautify highways. This includes the Sponsor-a-Highway program which allows companies to provide funds that go towards litter removal efforts on the highway and receive recognition, the Adopt-a-Highway program which utilizes volunteer teams to pick-up litter along our roadways, and the Adopt-a-Visibility Site program which encourages environmentally conscious school, business and community groups to assist in beautifying their community by supplying volunteer resources and upgrading and maintaining high visibility areas and off ramps on state highways. MassDOT also utilizes the state’s Inmate Labor Program which enables prison work crews to pick up litter along highways.
Drivers are encouraged to avoid littering on roadways and violators are subject to a fine of up to $5,500 for the first offense.
Individuals are encouraged to contact MassDOT’s Highway Call Center to report litter requiring cleanup efforts at 857-368-3500.