Get ready to see trash collectors on the sides of Maryland highways very soon

14 March 2024- The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration will launch Operation Clean Sweep Maryland the week of March 18. During this effort, motorists are urged to slow down, pay attention and move over to help protect crews as they pick up litter along the state highways. 

With moderate temperatures, mowing cycles are starting up along state roadways and litter and debris cleanup is needed. Highway users are reminded to always put trash in proper receptacles and secure loads to prevent litter and debris from flying out of the back of trucks.  

“Maryland communities deserve better, cleaner and greener neighborhoods,” said State Highway Administrator William Pines. “Our crews are taking steps to help ease the unprecedented statewide litter volumes, but we urge everyone to help us keep Maryland beautiful and pitch trash where it belongs – in a trash can.”  

Picking up trash puts State Highway crews in danger as they work along state roads and next to traffic. When you see crews at work, please remember to slow down and move over. Litter and debris impede mowing operations, impact highway drainage systems, and create potential highway hazards. Additionally, litter is harmful to Maryland’s wildlife and pollutes the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.   

In the past five years, the State Highway Administration has spent more than $42 million removing litter and debris from state roadways. Last fiscal year, 364,077 bags of trash were collected along state-maintained roadways at a cost of $15 million. That’s the equivalent cost of 45 new dump trucks or nearly 60 miles of resurfaced roads. Please help us make better investments with transportation funds by ending this blight on Maryland communities.   

The State Highway Administration launched its first Operation Clean Sweep ​effort in February 2023. As operations begin for 2024, the agency is reaching out to local jurisdictions to coordinate cleanup efforts. Citizens can help by reporting issues of litter and high grass on state roads by clicking on Request for Service or call 410-545-0300.