TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — The Alabama Department of Transportation launched Spring Clean Day to combat litter issues. The event is part of the ALDOT’s ongoing efforts to promote cleaner and safer roadways. All eight districts within the ALDOT’s west central region spent Friday picking up litter on various routes.

Lyndi Blackburn is an ALDOT engineer who was part of a 50-person team Friday who picked up hundreds of bags of trash and litter along Highway 69 south in Tuscaloosa County.

“Everybody has got a bright orange trash bag, and everybody has safety gloves,” Blackburn said. “And we have our pickers, and we are picking up the soda bottles, plastic bottles and cans and cups from stores the pizza box you tossed out the window.”

The ALDOT spent $7.34 million on litter cleanup throughout the state in fiscal year 2022, money Blackburn said could be better used to improve safety and maintain roads and bridges.

“Last year we picked up trash and spent $7.3 million picking up litter in the state of Alabama, on state roadways, and that money could have been used on safety projects to improve the driver’s safety,” Blackburn said. “That’s lots of money just to pick up trash.”

This trash cleanup project Friday is in addition to the full-time litter crew stationed within Tuscaloosa County that gathered about 50 tons of litter from March 2022 through March 2023.