by Senator Patricia Jones
Senate Minority Caucus Manager
I plan to sponsor legislation this next session to address the problem of litter and debris on Utah’s highways (for the Department of Transportation). Here are the reasons for the legislation.
See if you can answer the following questions:
1) How many dispatch calls did the Highway Patrol receive last year to handle DEBRIS ON HIGHWAYS? Answer: 6,357 in SALT LAKE COUNTY ALONE!
2) How many reported accidents in Utah were caused by debris on the highway last year? Answer: About 1,000
3) Once litter has been cleaned up, how long does it take to “re-litter” and need cleanup again? Answer: About 6 weeks!
4) How much money has it cost taxpayers SO FAR THIS YEAR to clean up litter on Utah’s highways? Answer: MORE THAN
$2 MILLION! This does not include fixed equipment costs, administrative costs, facility costs, contracts or training.
5) Do you remember the “Don’t Waste Utah” anti-litter campaign? Our young people probably do not. Littering and unsecured loads destroy the beauty of our landscapes, and they cost ALL of us money.
In 2006, UDOT used 99,600 trash bags. Each bag holds 12.2 cubic feet of litter. Our “haul” in FY2006 was 45,000 cubic yards of litter. That’s enough litter to cover a football field 45 feet deep.