The Alabama Department of Transportation cleaned 51 tons of roadside litter from roadways in Tuscaloosa County in the last year, a spokesperson for the state organization said Tuesday.

John McWilliams, an ALDOT spokesperson said their crews picked 102,000 pounds of trash in and around Tuscaloosa from May 2021 through May 2022.

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McWilliams said the crews, outfitted with all-terrain vehicles, gathered trash primarily within metro Tuscaloosa, although they occasionally extended routes into rural areas in the county.

“Litter continues to be an issue in our beautiful state,” said Wallace McAdory III, West Central Region engineer. “If more people took time to properly dispose of their trash, we wouldn’t have the problem we have today. I urge everyone to please take better care of our community and dispose of their litter properly.”

ALDOT cited the U.S. National Park Service, who said a single tin can takes around 50 years to fully decompose, and plastic bottles don't fully break down for around 450 years.

 

The state organization urged residents of Tuscaloosa County and across the state to make efforts to dispose of trash properly and never throw any garbage out of a vehicle window to become someone else's problem.

The problem isn't just a matter of taking pride in one's environment -- McWilliams said ALDOT spent more than $7 million on litter cleanup in Fiscal Year 2021, which prevented those funds from being used on road and bridge projects throughout the state.

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