Missouri agencies team up for 2019 Trash Bash

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3/KSPR) - The Missouri Department of Conservation (MoDOC) and the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) will come together to help promote the statewide anti-litter campaign, the No MOre Trash! Bash.

The annual Trash Bash encourages people to clean up litter all across Missouri, from roadsides, parks, neighborhoods, rivers, streams, trails and other places. Trash Bash activities include educational efforts in schools, community events and Earth Day celebrations.

“Litter is unattractive, costly and harms the environment,” said Stacy Armstrong, MoDOT’s No MOre Trash! coordinator. "Through efforts like this, we can reduce litter and increase awareness.”

Jennifer Baldwin with MoDOT's Southwest District said the trash on the side of Missouri roadways can also be a safety concern for drivers. "If it hits a vehicle or runs in front of a vehicle a person may swerve to miss a piece of trash," said Baldwin. "All kinds of things get dropped off the back of trucks or thrown out the window of vehicles." In 2018, 65,185 bags of litter and several truckloads of debris were picked up during the spring No MOre Trash! Bash across the state.

Baldwin explained the trash issue is something MoDOT takes very seriously, but it is also an issue they can't afford to tackle alone. "The trash issue is something that we are concerned about and we do receive calls about, but we don't really have enough funding to cover taking it care of it all." Last year, MoDOT spent $6.4 million to remove litter from more than 385,000 acres of roadsides along 34,000 state highway miles. Annual volunteer efforts to pick up litter along Missouri highways are valued at more than $1 million.

Aside from the annual Trash Bash, people can also volunteer with MoDOT's Adopt-A-Highway program. "We always have a need for trash collection," said Baldwin.

For more information and to learn how to participate, visit the websites included in this story or call 1-888-ASK-MODOT (1-888-275-6636).