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Snow, greenery not around to hide litter along Norwood Lateral

ODOT spends $1M annually on litter cleanups
Posted at 6:51 PM, Feb 06, 2017

CINCINNATI -- It may be February, but the beautiful snows of winter aren't what's blanketing the land around the Norwood Lateral.

Instead, you'll find chip bags and drink containers, piles of litter and paper scattered all over -- especially on the stretch near Interstate 75.

Mary Huttlinger, executive director of Keep Cincinnati Beautiful, said it's exceptionally bad this time of year.

"It’s been winter. You don’t have the greenery hiding trash, our ugly little secret," Huttlinger said.

No longer a secret, the question is how it gets there: Brian Cunningham, spokesman for Ohio Department of Transportation District 8, said there a lot of different ways.

Folks throwing things out of their car window, unsecured loads, backs of pickup trucks that aren't tied down -- things fly out," he said.

Huttlinger said once there's some litter in a high-traffic area, it tends to attract even more litter.

ODOT spends about $1 million a year cleaning up litter on area interstates, something Cunningham calls "an expensive eyesore." The agency plans to clean up around the Norwood Lateral this week.

Keep Cincinnati Beautiful also does a big roadway cleanup each year, but Huttlinger would like to use that time and money on other things, like beautification.

"Litter really is each one of our responsibilities," she said. "It's not just one organization."