The 2023 statewide Fall Litter Sweep is about to happen and NC Department of Transportation (NCDOT) officials are asking North Carolinians to start getting ready for the event that runs from Saturday, Sept. 16 to Saturday, Sept. 30.
The department orchestrates a massive cleanup event twice a year – usually, in the last two weeks of April and September.
Litter Sweep is the NCDOT’s statewide roadside litter removal program that encourages residents across North Carolina to participate in local efforts to clean up the state – especially the areas near the roadways.
During the event, when residents volunteer, NCDOT maintenance crews spend a week picking up litter and collecting the many orange bags placed alongside the roads.
This isn’t a BYOCS event – that is, it’s not Bring Your Own Cleaning Supplies. Volunteers are provided with supplies such as reversible orange/blue trash bags, gloves and bright orange safety vests. Those can be obtained from local NCDOT County Maintenance Yard offices.
NCDOT officials are asking interested residents to organize volunteer groups with their workplaces, churches, clubs, neighborhoods, families, schools and community organizations. They’re encouraging groups to, as soon as possible, choose a state road they would like to spruce up.
“You may have a road in mind,” the state’s advice reads. “It may be a road in your neighborhood – the road in front of your church – any state road you think should be cleaner and would make you prouder of your community.”
If you need help selecting a road to clean, you can call your NCDOT county maintenance office or local coordinator. They’ll recommend roads that need cleaning in your area.
Then, state officials advise, decide on a date and time to do your cleanup and establish a rain date in case of bad weather.
Assign different roles for participants, the state advises. For instance, put someone in charge of safety and bringing water etc. (You can print out all safety procedures for those participating in the cleanup from the website and ask everyone to view the safety videos on the Litter Sweep website prior to your scheduled cleanup. That site is https://www.ncdot.gov/initiatives-policies/environmental/litter-management/Pages/litter-sweep-volunteers.aspx
Each participant can receive a certificate of appreciation “suitable for framing” by completing and submitting a request form by mail or by sending it to the following email: firstname.lastname@example.org.