Major Erie interchange littered with garbage; PennDOT seeking help for cleanup

Local News

Some people have said it looks like a garbage dump, the area of Interstate 79 and West 12th Street littered with all sorts of garbage.

The part of road is operated by PennDOT and officials say it’s their responsibility to clean it up. There does not seem to be any plan in place right now to clean it up. They say this is nothing new this time of the year.

The problem is obvious to many: plastic, paper, trash of all kinds all over where Interstate 79 and West 12th Street meet.

“I think coming in here and seeing trash all over the place and it does not look good for us, it just looks dirty in my opinion.” said Cristy Senskey.

PennDOT officials say littering is an ongoing problem for them. It costs them millions of dollars a year to clean up litter across the roadways.

“We are not able to clean up all the litter along all of our roadways, we just don’t have the manpower, that is where the volunteers come in to help. When we have extreme problem areas, sometimes, we will have to use our paid staff.” said Jill Harry.

Harry says spring is the worst time of the year.

“It really grabs our attention, the snow starts to melt and we see all that garbage along the roadways that has been covered up sometimes for several months. It’s unfortunate that folks feel the need to throw garbage along the roadway.” Harry said.

According to Harry, PennDOT crews could actually use a helping hand with the cleanup.

PennDOT’s local Adopt-A-Highway program is looking for someone to adopt that part of the roadway.

“We provide them with all the things that they need as far as garbage bags and gloves and safety vests. They collect all the garbage and they tie it up and leave it somewhere and then let us know and we come pick the bags up.” Harry said.

“I think people need to do a better job of recycling and putting their stuff in the garbage, it’s really not that hard.”

If you would like to help with the cleanup and join the Adopt-A-Highway program, click here for more information.

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