DOT workers find tons of waste during roadside cleanups in New Mexico

In New Mexico there are places where lumber, pipe, toilets, couches and mattresses maybe found and it is not at local merchants or a big box store.

During a statewide trash cleanup June 5, New Mexico Department of Transportation (DOT) found myriad household and construction items and even medical waste along the highways and byways in parts of New Mexico, read a DOT news release.

DOT said 155 employees of the department collected nearly 18 tons of trash throughout the state. Employees accrued nearly 759 labor hours and the cost was nearly $27,000.

More:City of Carlsbad update: Riverblitz collects 10 tons of trash

“The department is well aware there is a roadside litter issue in New Mexico,” said DOT Secretary Mike Sandoval in a news release.

“This event was coordinated internally with DOT employee participation only, but we hope to hold frequent Toss No Mas cleanup events in the future and eventually include municipalities and public volunteers. The event was incredibly successful.”

Nearly 30 District 2 DOT employees covered southeastern New Mexico, said Manon Arnett, District 2 spokesperson.

Tires were just part of nearly 18 tons of trash picked up across New Mexico by New Mexico Department of Transportation workers during a trash cleanup.

Workers picked up 3,000 pounds of trash along U.S. Highways 54 and 285 near Tularosa and Carlsbad.

“I think it really shows we have our work cut out for us and that community engagement is crucial to making an impact to see those numbers hopefully go down in the future,” said Keep Carlsbad Beautiful Executive Director Mary Garwood.

She was alarmed at the amount of trash collected in Carlsbad.

“I hate to see this number so high. As individuals, each one of us needs to take responsibility for our waste disposal processes and to make sure we are making the best choices possible,” Garwood said.