Sunday, December 21, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Caltrans shines spotlight on litter problem

20 litter pick up 1

Caltrans workers pick up litter just North of the Parish Road exit in Benicia along the shoulder of northbound Interstate 680, Wednesday. Caltrans crews picked up litter to bring attention to Litter Awareness Day. (Aaron Rosenblatt/Daily Republic)

By
From page A3 | March 20, 2014 |

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 beberling@dailyrepublic.net. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling has been a reporter with the Daily Republic since 1987. He covers Solano County government, transportation, growth and the environment. He received his bachelors of art degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.
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Discussion | 5 comments

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  • Randy LaneMarch 20, 2014 - 8:36 am

    With all the over crowding in the county jails why not have inmate trustees pick up litter.They could earn one day off thier time for every day worked.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksMarch 20, 2014 - 9:35 am

    Randy, 3rd attempt apologies in advance for repeats. $50 million could be much better spent. Prisoners and community service people have done that work and they should. I believe Welfare recipients should be dong varying degrees of public/community service as well.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Salty DogMarch 20, 2014 - 3:10 pm

    That would be nice if the inmate trustees pick it up that would be cheep labor and their is the problem caltrans is union and the union won't let that happen.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rick WoodMarch 20, 2014 - 10:45 am

    Litter pick-up should become a state-wide obsession, as should the ostracization of those who litter. You walk along the street, and someone driving by drops an empty cigarette box out his/her window. Now THERE'S a three-fer: A slob who smokes but doesn't want to pollute his own private compartment with the refuse of his addiction, so he casts it out among us lower folk to pick up or live with. Has it happened to you? Just happened to me outside of Chez Soul the other day. Often the response is "they pay people to pick that up." Wrong! Not anymore. And even if "they" do, why are you privileged to add to the problem for "them?" It turns out in this case I picked it up, and no one is paying me. I would say after Starbucks paraphernalia and Evelyn's pizza boxes, cigarette boxes are third on the list for downtown Fairfield litter. "Many hands make light work." Pick up some litter every day. Encourage anti-litter enforcement and programs. Don't let the slobs win. This is war.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksMarch 20, 2014 - 10:52 am

    Rick, when I question these pieces of crap for varying degrees of law-breakage I get the "what, are you a cop?" Oh how I wish I was during those moments, I would not be restricted by "resources!" ;) And don't talk to me about citizen's arrest, I may look dumb but I'm not!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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