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Cleaning up litter is costing millions

Posted at 4:30 AM, Feb 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-28 09:12:31-05

CINCINNATI -- After spending a total of 23 years in prison, Robert Winslow is grateful to have a job making his community a better, more beautiful place. He picks up litter four days a week, nine hours a day -- and according to the Ohio Department of Transportation, there's enough of the stuff to keep several Robert Winslows busy.

"Typically, we get more litter complaints than we get anything else," ODOT communications manager Brian Cunningham said. 

Discarded cans, boards and tires amount to more than just an eyesore, Cunningham added. Litter on roadways can be a traffic hazard and, when thrown or blown to the side of the road, block storm drains. 

And even when people like Winslow clean it up, some areas end up strewn with debris time and time again.

"It is an annoyance, it is a huge issue and it costs about a million dollars a year for ODOT District 8 in the Cincinnati area to clean up this trash," Cunningham said.

"It's not a bad job," Winslow said of litter patrol. "Somebody's got to do it."

But, golly, it would be nice if they didn't need to.