Trash Accumulating on State Roadways

Millions of dollars are spent each year to "Keep Texas Beautiful".

As traffic increases due to the oil field, the amount of waste seems to pile-up on our roadways. State Highway officials say trash is being thrown out with no regard to the environment.

Connie Gonzalez reports...

For almost 30 years, the Texas Department of Transportation has worked to maintain the beauty of the great state of Texas for both residents and tourists.

TxDot Public Information Officer, Karen Threlkeld, says about 90% of the litter that piles up on Tom Green County Roadways is picked up by private contractors.

"Statewide we have about 80,000 miles of state maintained highways and we're paying $37 million (M) a year to pick up trash. There could be better uses of taxpayer dollars than to pick up litter everyday," Threlkeld said.

$100,000 is spent annually to pick-up trash across Tom Green County; workers collect over a ton of waste each week.

"That's a whole lot of trash in San Angelo. It's really degrading the beauty of our community," Threlkeld said.

Fifty-four volunteer groups in the county Adopt-a-Highway program gather thousands of pound of trash at least four times a year in their designated two-mile section.

County Commissioner, Bill Ford, says waste has accumulated in his precinct most along highway 67, west of San Angelo, due to increased oil field traffic.

"When the guys load up with their food and coolers and their lunch, they don't really dispose of the trash bags like they should. It's just a dilemma," Ford said.

Ford says it's a problem for our community that needs to be dealt with.

"You're seeing a lot of trash just thrown out on the ground and with no regard to you what it's doing to the environment, doing to the roadways, doing to our communities, our water and our wildlife," Ford said.

Do your part. "Don't Mess with Texas!"

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