ST. JOSEPH, Mo. - Northwest Missouri is a bit cleaner, thanks to the efforts of more than 1,800 volunteers who picked up more than 2,400 bags of litter from area roadsides during April's 2013 No MOre Trash! Bash.
The Bash is an annual event where volunteers and others clean up litter all across state - from roadsides and parks to rivers and streams. With the final reporting now complete, the Missouri departments of Conservation and Transportation report 129,255 bags collected statewide in April during the Bash.
Litter poisons fish, birds and other wildlife, along with their habitats, such as rivers, fields and forests. Trash Bash volunteer efforts are essential to prevent that from happening.
"The work of Adopt-A-Highway volunteers , Stream Teams, other volunteer groups during the Bash always impresses me," said Marcia Johnson, Adopt-A-Highway coordinator for the Northwest District. "Each year, our volunteers pick up more and more, which not only makes Northwest Missouri even more beautiful, but it saves Missouri taxpayers a lot of money."
In addition to the volunteer efforts, MoDOT maintenance crews and incarcerated crews also make a concerted effort in April to pick up litter from Missouri roadsides. While it's great to see the impact these efforts have, it's important to remember why they take place.
"Litter is a big problem in Northwest Missouri for many reasons - it's ugly, it harms the environment, it can be a hazard to our workers and it's costly to Missouri taxpayers," said Johnson. "It doesn't take a lot of effort by an individual to properly dispose of their trash or recycle it, but reducing the amount of litter we need to pick up in the first place would be a tremendous cost and time savings."
For MoDOT, litter clean-up is a year-round job, costing the state over $5 million every year. Programs like the Trash Bash and the Adopt-A-Highway program help offset those costs and allow the department to devote resources to other much needed tasks.
The No MOre Trash! Bash is sponsored by the Missouri departments of Conservation and Transportation. For more information about the Bash and other litter prevention activities, visit http://www.nomoretrash.org/ or call 888-ASK-MoDOT (888-275-6636).