It’s time for road trips and cookouts, because summer is almost here. With all the expected driving, the Illinois Secretary of State wants Illinoisans to keep the grounds clean and not litter. Lori Gummow of Loves Park, executive director of Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful, said during a cleanup in April a lot of waste was picked up. “This last year we had about 1,100 volunteers that were out during a three-hour period, and we’re estimating that we picked up about 50 tons of litter in our community,” Gummow said.
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Gummow also says the “the most littered item is cigarette butts.” For those convicted of littering, there is a maximum of six months in jail and up to a $1,500 fine. The time served and fine doubles for second offenses. The Illinois secretary of state’s office offers these tips to keep the roads and roadsides clean:
Carry a litter bag in your car. If you have litter, you now have somewhere to dispose of it.
Securely cover open loads on trucks. Much of the debris on the highway comes from trucks that don’t have their loads covered.
Clean out pickup truck beds. Random trash left in the back of pickups can easily blow out onto the street.
Set an example for others. Children often copy what they see. We can prevent bad behavior by picking up after ourselves and not littering.