Trash piling up on roads as COVID prevents clean-up teams from working

Trash is piling up along Central Oregon highways and ODOT is asking the public to step up.

Pandemic restrictions have prevented litter clean-up teams from working since spring.

ODOT’s Peter Murphy said inmate work crews aren’t able to work along the side of the road due to current COVID restrictions.

Teams of young people typically hired to work from mid-June to mid-August aren’t working either.

“That’s a really important part of what we do here because our maintenance crews are busy doing other kinds of things,” Murphy said. “So we offer employment opportunities for kids to come aboard during the summer and do the litter patrol. We just can’t do it this year because it’s too cramped quarters and COVID has interrupted everything like that.”

Murphy said the Adopt-A-Highway program helps, but they need more volunteers willing to pick up trash.

The public has a role to play by properly disposing of garbage so it doesn’t pile up along the road.



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