The State of West Virginia spends more than $1 million annually to remove litter from state highways.
The annual cost of roadside litter control nationwide is $115 million.
Highway litter costs West Virginians:
- by detracting from the natural beauty of the state
- by harming birds, animals and fish
- in road and water safety with hazards to motorists, bikers, hikers, picnickers and swimmers
- by degrading the quality of life in the state
- in economic development prospects choosing a cleaner site for new business
Highway litter is composed of 59 percent paper, 16 percent cans, 6 percent bottles, 6 percent plastics and 13 percent miscellaneous.
The items most often found during litter cleanups are fast-food wrappers.
The second-most-often found items are aluminum beer cans, followed very closely by soda cans.
Cigarette butts are not considered when addressing litter cleanups programs. However, they are the most littered item in the world and are toxic to the environment.
Eight sources of litter are:
- improperly contained household garbage
- improperly contained construction litter
- improperly handled loading dock litter