In the ongoing effort to Keep DE Litter Free, the Delaware Department of Transportation continues to dedicate resources to cleaning up roads. To date in 2021, nearly 16,000 bags of trash have been collected, and last year, cleanup efforts resulted in the collection of over 51,000 bags of trash.
Litter cleanup across the state is performed by DelDOT Maintenance & Operations employees, Adopt-A-Highway/Sponsor-A-Highway efforts, the Work A Day Earn A Pay Program and with help from the Delaware Department of Correction inmate work program.
In addition, more than 6,800 tires, 3,500 signs and 250 appliances were removed from alongside Delaware roads.
Gov. John Carney, who has championed the Keep DE Litter Free initiative, commented, “The amount of litter on our roads continues to be eye-opening and a reminder that we all need to do our part to reduce littering. We’re making progress and my hope is that these efforts, increased fines, new signage, and the plastic bag ban will all help curb the amount of litter we are seeing throughout our beautiful state.”
The Keep DE Litter Free effort is one of several designed to keep Delaware outdoor living spaces free of trash and more enjoyable for all. As of Jan. 1, plastic carryout bags have been replaced by paper and reusable bags at checkout in many stores throughout Delaware.
The law is designed to reduce beach and roadside litter, save landfill space, increase recycling efforts.
“Even with reduced traffic on our roads for a significant amount of time in the past year, our litter problem has persisted,” said Secretary of Transportation Nicole Majeski. “We are committed to reducing the amount of litter along our roads, and I am grateful to our employees, partners, and volunteers who continue to work hard collecting litter across the state.”
“Each Delawarean uses about 434 plastic bags and that means nearly 2,400 tons of plastic bags end up in our landfills annually,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin.
“A decrease by the public of plastic carryout bags can mitigate a large portion of this waste and help our environment by reducing the amount of plastic bags on our roads and waterways that can harm us and our wildlife.”
Retailers can choose to offer paper bags, or cloth bags, or a thicker type of plastic bag that is designed to be reusable. As before the law, plastic bags – as well as plastic wraps, plastic dry-cleaning bags and plastic newspaper sleeves - must still be recycled only at the store. All reusable bags should be washed before the next shopping trip.
Consumers and retailers can find more information about the plastic bag ban at de.gov/bags. To discover how to join the efforts to help Keep DE Litter Free, visit de.gov/litterfree.
Businesses and organizations interested in adopting or sponsoring a highway through DelDOT’s Adopt-A-Highway or Sponsor-A-Highway programs can apply now at DelDOT.gov.