State spent $6.8 cleaning up last year, plans to issue tickets

Published 2:53 am Saturday, June 30, 2018

Brent Maddox doesn’t have to look far for litter. The Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) District Administrator in Covington County can peer out his car window while traveling the county to find trash and litter scattered along the roadway.

“Litter is a problem that doesn’t just go away. We can clean up a stretch of highway one day, and come back the next and it will be littered again,” Maddox said.

ALDOT spent approximately $6.8 million in 2017 on litter cleanup throughout the state. In District 73, that covers Covington County and the south portion of Crenshaw County, ALDOT spent $3,786.75 alone.

This month, ALDOT is launching a public relations campaign to inform the public of Alabama’s anti-littering law and the fines they are subject to if they are caught littering. In Alabama, littering is classified as a Class C misdemeanor that comes with a minimum fine of $250 for the first conviction. The second, and any subsequent conviction, is a $500 fine for each conviction.

“Trash Costs Cash,” is the title of a new public service announcement produced by ALDOT that will begin making its way to Alabama residents through social media sites like Facebook and YouTube and television and radio stations. The PSA highlights the high cost of littering fines, challenging people to think about those costs before throwing out their fast-food wrapper.


Litter is garbage that has not been properly disposed. Roadside litter includes, but is not limited to:

  • Fast food trash,
  • Beverage containers, such as tin cans or plastic bottles,
  • Cigarette butts,
  • Tires, and
  • Many others.

Litter can harm the environment and have a negative impact on the safety and the natural beauty of the state.

“Litter is a problem in our state and it is a wide spread problem,” said Brantley Kirk, ALDOT spokesperson. “The change has to start with individual residents taking responsibility for their small part of the world. ALDOT will continue to do its best to utilize our resources to make a difference in providing clean and safe highways.”

There are many ways that residents can help keep Alabama beautiful:

  • Dispose of trash properly,
  • Never throw anything out of the vehicle window,
  • Carry a small trash bag in your car,
  • Properly secure loads when hauling loose items, or
  • Contact People Against a Littered State (PALS) and apply to Adopt-A-Mile.

ALDOT partners with Keep Alabama Beautiful, People Against a Littered State (PALS) and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency to help keep Alabama litter-free.