Blog Post Written by Colton Mitchell, KTB Intern.
April is Roadside Cleanup Month! Clean roadways are vital to environmental health, so it is super important to do our part to keep them as clean as possible. A large part of the pollution on roadways comes from things people throw out of their car windows, this is detrimental to our environment for a number of reasons: it can reach nearby bodies of water, it can harm animals, it can pollute the air and soil, and more. In order to help keep our roads as clean as possible, here are a few steps individuals can take that’ll make a huge difference:
- If you’re a smoker, keep an ashtray in your car
According to the truth initiative, approximately 4.5 trillion cigarettes are littered annually across the world. Cigarette butts release toxic chemicals like arsenic and lead into the environment, which can leak into our drinking water. In order to help combat the problem, smokers should keep an ashtray in their car to hold the butts and then properly empty the ashtray when it gets full. Or, if you’d rather minimize the odor lingering from cigarette butts, a mason jar works really well due to the airtight lid.
Trash can easily be taken by the wind and blow out of a window or a car door when opened. It is beneficial to keep a bag in your vehicle and throw your trash in the bag to dispose of properly later. Not only will a litter bag keep the streets clean, but it will also keep your car clean and organized as well. You can get a FREE Don’t mess with Texas® litter bag here.
3. Secure your trash and recycling receptacles.
Not all of the litter on roadways comes from cars, a lot comes from people who have put their trash in a trash or recycling bin. As it gets windy, these bins can blow open and the trash from them will sometimes fly out of the bin and onto the roads or into waterways. In order to help combat this problem, it is a good idea to place at-home trash and recycling bins in wood or concrete enclosure at the side of your home. Or if this isn’t possible, you can attach D-rings to a home or garage and secure the bins with bungee cords.
Having clean roads is one of the best ways to keep our communities as clean as possible. There are many more ways we as individuals can reduce our personal waste. Keep Texas Beautiful is also currently hosting the Don’t mess with Texas® Trash-Off, in partnership with TxDOT. Trash-Off invites Texans to help us keep our roadways clean by joining a litter cleanup in the month of April. You can learn more and get involved in a cleanup near you, here.