MDOT says Mississippi has a litter problem along roadways

MDOT says Mississippi has a litter problem along roadways

JACKSON, MS (WDAM) - This is a news release from the Mississippi Department of Transportation

Have you ever been driving along a quiet back road with the windows down and the warm breeze blowing through your hair while thoughtfully admiring the late afternoon scenery surrounding you? You admire the gentle, rolling green hills that intersect with a stately row of pine trees in the distance...and the sting of haphazardly discarded litter along the highway.  It's a fact: Mississippi has a serious problem with litter along roadways.  In order to bring awareness to the prevalence of litter across the country, to promote recycling and to preserve our nation's resources, the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) supports America Recycles Day on November 15.

The average U.S. citizen generates 4.4 pounds of trash and recyclables each day. Over the course of a year, that total becomes 250 million tons of trash.  If trash is not disposed of correctly, it easily becomes litter that mars the natural beauty and health of our environment.

More than 51 billion pieces of litter land on U.S. roadways each year, according to Keep America Beautiful.  Cleaning it up costs $11.5 million a year in America.  While litter is a problem of national importance, it is also a very real problem here in Mississippi. Litter costs MDOT approximately $3 million every year, and Mississippi litter rates are nearly 30 percent higher than averages throughout the rest of the country.

Habits like recycling can greatly help to reduce the impact this amount of trash has on the environment.  Through America Recycles Day, Keep America Beautiful seeks to educate and encourage individuals to better understand how, why and where they can recycle to divert relevant products from the waste stream and give their garbage another life. For 2015, the central focus is to encourage people to think beyond bottles and cans to other products that are also recyclable—specifically, items that coincide with America Recycle Day’s theme: “Bathrooms, Bags & Gadgets.”

MDOT offers these tips on how you can join in the journey to a cleaner Mississippi and cleaner America through recycling household products and preventing litter:

  • Never throw anything from your vehicle.
  • Use a trashcan and encourage others to do so.
  • When hauling materials and trash in your vehicle, make sure your load is secure at all times.
  • Keep the bed of your pickup truck free of debris that could blow out onto the roadways.
  • Consider common household items that can be recycled directly into a curbside bin: magazines, tissue boxes, soap boxes, shampoo bottles, mail and toilet paper rolls.
  •  Plastic bags, electronics and textiles should be recycled but not into a curbside bin.
  • Go online to to find out about your local recycling options.

As America Recycles Day approaches, MDOT is proud to partner with Keep Mississippi Beautiful in order to work towards a cleaner, litter-free state. We encourage each person to do their part  by recycling, preventing litter and helping to preserve the beauty of our state. Don't trash Mississippi!

For more information on how you can join the fight against litter, visit