Anti-littering campaign begins Friday in Missouri

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COLUMBIA – A month-long anti-littering campaign dubbed “trash bash,” which was created by the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), started Friday. The initiative was created to encourage people to pick up litter in Missouri.

During last year’s trash bash, volunteers collected more than 60,000 bags of litter. In 2015 alone, MoDOT spent $6 million taxpayer dollars on removing litter. The department estimated that volunteer contributions saved the state about $1.8 million.

Richard Skelton, MoDOT’s Boone County Maintenance Supervisor, said people in Missouri are proud of their cleanup efforts.

"With the trash bash it helps make it look a lot better. And I think the public and the people of Boone County and Missouri take pride in what they're doing, and I think that's a big help to our town and our community and the environment,” Skelton said.

A national study on littering behavior conducted by The American State Litter Scorecard ranked Missouri the tenth cleanest state in terms of littering. A volunteer with “Caring for Columbia,” an MU volunteer group that contributes to anti-littering efforts, said cleaning Columbia is the least they can do.

"One of the topics that we do is litter pickup. And, I guess the main goal of our organization is to make Columbia a much better place to live because as students, we take a lot from Columbia, we use the streets we use all the things they give to us so it's sort of our way of giving back,” said Kyle Wansing.

Wansing said the group plans to help out Saturday with cleanup efforts of their own. The group will host cleanup efforts at several locations, including West Junior High School in Columbia. Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill attended West Junior High, and will join the team in picking up litter at the school.  

Anyone who chooses to take part in the efforts can log their volunteer efforts here.