Trash Bash Targets Litter Along Interstate

The Mississippi Department of Transportation held its annual "Trash Bash" Wednesday.

A small army of MDOT employees and volunteers joined forces to battle litterbugs on I-10. The cleanup crew wants to raise public awareness about a persistent problem

"It makes me feel real good. We've been out here since this morning and we've got a lot done," said Jenny Hinton as she picked up yet another empty can.

Hinton and Liz Moran normally work in the Lyman MDOT office. They spent this work day outdoors, picking up all sorts of litter alongside the interstate between Menge Avenue and Diamondhead.

"Beer bottles, beer cans, hamburger wrappers, french fry wrappers. Just a little bit of everything. Some things I don't even want to mention," Hinton said.

"Go get the signs and pick 'em up. We're fixing to move on up," said the team leader on his two-way radio.

The annual "Trash Bash" gives MDOT employees and volunteers a better appreciation for the work crews usually assigned to litter patrol.

"It's a lot of fun picking up all this trash. But it's hard to believe people would throw this much trash out on the interstate," Liz Moran said.

Southern district engineer Ricky Lee joined those ridding the roadside of various trash and debris. He blames carelessness for the litter problem.

"Probably one tenth of one percent of the people, maybe less, just don't think about it and throw trash out the window and it litters our highways and looks bad because of it. The way litter looks makes it more than a local problem along a busy roadway like I-10. It creates an unpleasant impression," Lee said.

Paula Walters says image is important, and visitors remember litter.

"People are traveling through here all the time. And the message, what we're sending to them, is that we don't take pride in our state, whenever we have trash on our highways," Walters said.

Those involved in "Trash Bash" are counting on their effort to send a simple message.

"Please don't litter!"