SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) collected 8.5 tons of roadside trash during a statewide “Toss No Mas” litter clean-up event in September.
“The roadside trash issue continues to plague New Mexico and while our department is accountable for the cleanup, I implore New Mexicans to take responsibility for their actions that cause litter,” Transportation Secretary Mike Sandoval said. “Our employees are working on their day off to clean up the trash and debris left behind by motorists. These employees include our maintenance patrols and any DOT employee willing to participate.
Sandoval said that the trash accumulates faster than they can pick it up on a regular basis.
“The primary job of our maintenance crews is to maintain the integrity of our roads,” he said. “That’s why we are contracting with a private company to work exclusively on litter pickup, but the problem needs to be stopped at the source. People must tie and tarp their loads, tie up their garbage bags and stop using our roadsides as dump sites.”
The privately contracted litter company will begin working later this month.
In total, 98 DOT employees participated on their day off:
- 427 bags of trash were collected
- Total weight equaled 8.5 tons
- Employees accrued 1,044 total labor hours
- $24,219.89 spent on labor and equipment costs
Items collected include:
- Wood palettes
- Scrap metal
- Canvas material
- Large cardboard boxes
- Semi tires
- Disposable masks
- Household trash
- Car parts
- Roof shingles
- A mattress
- Hypodermic needles/medical waste
- Water bottles filled with urine and spit
- A sink
- A microwave oven