FAIRFIELD — A state Department of Transportation crew picked up litter along Interstate 680 on Wednesday, as work crews did along freeways all over the state.
Caltrans and the California Highway Patrol used the day to shine the spotlight on the crews’ work. One goal is to keep people from littering in the first place.
“It looks bad, but it’s also a safety hazard,” Caltrans spokesman Vince Jacala said. “You get things that are blowing in the road and debris.”
Litter is more than paper and plastic tossed out the window of a speeding car. Jacala mentioned bricks and other construction materials left along the side of Highway 101.
Caltrans in 2012 spent $50 million on trash collection along freeways and highways. It collected enough garbage to fill 8,000 garbage trucks, Jacala said.
The Solano County maintenance crew works from Benicia in the south county to Dixon in the north county. Besides picking up litter, it does such things as repair guard rails and fill potholes, Jacala said.
Litter pickup takes maintenance crews away from doing other things, he said.
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom is among the local businesses that participate in the state’s adopt-a-highway program. It has volunteers pick up litter at ramps on Highway 37 in Vallejo, Jacala said.
Other businesses adopt a highway and pay a contractor to do the pickup work. Go to http://adopt-a-highway.dot.ca.gov or call 866 ADOPT-A-HWY for more information on the program.
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.