Trash hidden underneath snow to be cleaned up on roads - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Trash hidden underneath snow to be cleaned up on roads

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Sights of grass and clean roads can finally be seen after months and months of snowfall in the area. The snow melting has revealed quite a bit of trash that has collected on and along side streets and highways.  

INDOT Spokesman for the Northwest District, Matt Deitchley, said they are aware of the messy debris on the roads.  "We are seeing a little more trash out there simply because the winter has been so harsh a lot of the things have been frozen underneath the snow," he said.  

Driving down state and local roads and highways you might see pieces of rubber tires, soda cans, plastic bags, and chunks of cardboard. Potholes are also giving drivers more than just a bumpy ride. "We're seeing a lot of debris out there, mostly from potholes that have been popping in and out," Deitchley said.  

The Indiana Department of Transportation is in the middle of their Annual Trash Bash. The campaign involves INDOT workers working with crews from both the Department of Correction and Adopt-A-Highway volunteers. "Our Adopt-a-Highway group we encourage them at this time to really get these highways spruced up before the spring driving season comes along," Deitchley said. 

In Elkhart County the cleanup effort uses people from the Community Oriented Work Program and Elkhart County Corrections Center.  Manager of Transportation for the Elkhart County Highway Department, Jeff Taylor, said these crews consist of people who have committed smaller, non-violent crimes and help the cleanup effort. "They come to work for us during the day doing a variety of tasks," Taylor said, "One of the big things they do for us is cleaning the roadside of trash and debris." 

One area that has collected a noticeable amount of trash is US 20. The highway will be cleaned by multiple groups. "US 20 is technically under the state's jurisdiction of INDOT.  We work together on a variety of things and stuff like this we don't have a problem working together and making the community nicer," Taylor said.  

The 2013 Trash Bash campaign saw over 20,000 bags of trash collected.  The campaign runs from April 5-27.  INDOT and the Elkhart County Highway Department said that while their crews will get to the trash along the roads, they encourage people to contact them if they see an area that requires immediate attention.

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