Pharos-Tribune

Editorials

June 19, 2014

THEIR VIEW: Trash Bash critical keeping state clean

Kudos again are in order for the Indiana Department of Transportation for going an extra step to clean up after careless Hoosiers and after visitors to Indiana who throw their litter along roadsides.

Thanks to the efforts of INDOT employees, as well as thousands of volunteers and Indiana Department of Correction offenders, motorists traveling the Hoosier state are seeing cleaner roadsides this summer.

Each year since 1997, INDOT has coordinated with Adopt-A-Highway volunteers and the IDOC to clean up the roads as part of what is called a “Trash Bash.” Each year, hundreds of tons of trash are collected.

As always, the numbers best tell the story of what crews are up against when they tackle the task. INDOT reports that, statewide this year, more than 9,300 cubic yards of debris and 16,500 bags of trash were collected from alongside 1,480 miles of Indiana’s roadways. Adopt-A-Highway groups played a significant role in this year’s success by volunteering a record number of 10,200 hours.

Those are astounding numbers, by any measurement.

Bruce Lemmon, commissioner of the IDOC, is pleased that offenders can help with the Trash Bash.

“This annual cleanup effort gives the offenders an opportunity to make a positive impact on the community and give back in a big way,” Lemmon said.

“Once again our work crews stepped up to the challenge and surpassed our hopes for this year’s campaign. We are thankful to INDOT for continuing to partner with us for this important public service. “

INDOT Commissioner Karl Browning, in expressing appreciation to the many Adopt-A-Highway groups that annually get involved in the effort, said, “We are especially grateful for the new Adopt-A-Highway groups who want to help make a difference in our great state.”

While the Trash Bash provides opportunity for important partnerships, the need to have anyone pick up thousands of bags of trash from roadsides is unfortunate.

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