As part of ongoing efforts to keep highways clean, the Arizona Department of Transportation is devoting significant resources this week into removing litter from Interstates 10 and 19 in the Tucson area.
ADOT is deploying 45 staff members for the major cleanup along about 25 miles of highways, working along I-10 from Ina to Valencia roads, and along I-19 from I-10 to Valencia Road. Work began Tuesday, with crews expected to work 10 hours a day through Friday to complete the effort. While many of the ADOT personnel involved are based in Tucson, other crews are traveling from as far as Casa Grande and Nogales.
The litter problem is entirely an issue of driver behavior. Whether it’s individuals who throw trash out a car window or commercial vehicles that don’t cover their loads, the litter problem is preventable. While ADOT employees who live and work in the Tucson area are cleaning up the trash, it’s local residents and drivers who ultimately can help ADOT improve the appearance of highways by being more respectful of the environment.
ADOT maintenance personnel normally are available to perform cleanup duties as part of their duties, but their primary responsibility is to safety-related work such as guardrail repair, pavement maintenance, right-of-way fence repairs to keep livestock off roadways and other similar work.
ADOT is assisted in cleanups by volunteer groups who participate in the Adopt A Highway program, along with state prison inmate crews. Those crews have been mostly unavailable for nearly two years due to COVID-19 restrictions in prison complexes.
Drivers can report roadside trash violations at litter.az.gov.