Clean roads a welcome change

According to a survey conducted by the Center for Solid and Hazardous Waste Management at the University of Florida, visible trash along state highways has dropped 30 percent. This drop marks a new trend that will hopefully continue with the efforts being put forth by highway cleanup programs, such as Adopt-A-Road.

The recent survey is the fifth to have been done since the Florida Legislature began a campaign to cut highway litter in half. This is the first year the survey has noted a drop. Several state agencies have been cited as the reason for the drop. Many programs, such as Keep America Beautiful and company-sponsored road cleanups, have greatly helped reduce litter.

Though many companies, church groups and school organizations are adopting roads, there are still thousands of miles unclaimed that need maintenance.

Often great incentives, beyond the idealistic motive of helping to keep the roads looking clean, such as resume builders and public attention attract more volunteers. And often once people become involved in trash pickup, they are less likely to litter and more likely to encourage others to stop littering.

Another possible reason for the reduction in litter is in the way road crews have been handling roadside mowing. Before, road crews would just mow all debris along the roads, thus causing the trash to be chopped into tiny pieces and strewn over larger areas of land. However, in an effort to minimize that, road crews now pick up larger pieces of trash before mowing.

With so many agencies working toward beatifying Florida?s roadways and maitaining a healthy and clean landscape, both Florida?s citizens and visitors will benefit from a clean and inviting environment.