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Philadelphia region’s highway litter gobbling up millions in cleanup costs

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Motorists not pleased


The state Department of Transportation spent $12.6 million from July 2016 to June 2017 cleaning up trash along highways—including $5.6 million on garbage just along the highways of the five-county Philadelphia region.

That latter figure represented a more than 40 percent increase from the preceding 12 months.

To put it in further perspective, the $5.6 million spent on litter in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties would pay for repaving 19 miles of state roads.

Motorists are understandably peeved at the piles: Driver complaints to PennDOT about the trash in the five-county region have jumped recently, per the Daily News’ Michael Boren.

Officials are aware of the problem—thanks in part to quicker and easier ways to lodge complaints, never mind social media photos—but it’s proving an uphill climb.

“Litter on our roadways is a never-ending problem,” a PennDOT spokesman told Boren. “Within two weeks of cleaning a heavily traveled expressway, such as I-95 or I-476, drivers cannot even tell the work was performed.”

What’re you seeing?