Litter hotline suspended, but we all can prevent littering

July 2011

Due to state budget cuts, Ecology has suspended taking reports of littering incidents via the state’s toll-free litter reporting hotline. The change was effective July 15, 2011.

Ecology’s Waste Reduction, Recycling and Litter Control Account, which funds the state’s litter prevention and cleanup activities, was reduced by $7 million for the 2011-13 biennial budget. The account is a dedicated fund mainly supported by a tax on industries whose products tend to contribute to the litter problem.

The highway and roadway litter prevention signs (“Litter and It Will Hurt”) will remain in place, in order to avoid the cost of removing them. They also serve as a reminder not to litter.

What You Can Do

With fewer public resources being devoted to litter cleanup and prevention, there is a simple solution for preventing more trash from piling up along roadways and other open spaces:

  • Don't throw it out there. Trash won't be an eyesore or a hazard on the road if it does not leave your vehicle.
  • And when you are traveling to a transfer station to dispose of your garbage, make sure to properly secure your load.

Another way to help keep highways litter-free is to adopt a section of highway. The Adopt-A-Highway program allows individuals and groups to "adopt" a section of state highway by agreeing to take care of it for a two-year period. Volunteer groups may be clubs, employees of a business, or concerned citizens.

Businesses or groups can also hire state-approved contractors to pick up their Adopt-a-Highway section.