RALEIGH — House Majority Leader John Bell (R-Wayne) introduced the Highway Cleanup Act (House Bill 100) to help address the growing litter problem across the state.
The bipartisan legislation was filed with the support of Representatives Brenden Jones (R-Columbus), Charlie Miller (R-Brunswick) and Pricey Harrison (D-Guilford).
“Like many North Carolinians, I am extremely frustrated and upset with the amount of trash and litter building up on the side of our roads,” Bell said. “As I travel and talk to people across the state, everyone agrees that something needs to be done to help address the problem. This bipartisan legislation marks a starting point on what we can do from the state legislature to reduce littering and clean up our roadways.”
Specifically, House Bill 100 will strengthen enforcement of littering by increasing penalties, establish a new grant program for sheriff’s offices in rural counties to provide officers overtime pay for litter cleanup efforts and allocate additional funding to raise awareness and educate the public on existing anti-litter programs.
“The Highway Cleanup Act is an important first step in reducing the litter that has plagued our state roadways,” said Jones, deputy majority leader who chairs the House Transportation Committee.
“This bill will increase the penalties for littering to hold those that do so accountable and raise awareness of what citizens can do to help keep our roadways clean through adoption programs. I’m looking forward to working with organizations in my community to make this bill a success.”
Miller weighed in.
“This new Cops Clean NC program will be an important step in cleaning up our roadways,” said Miller, chief deputy of the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office.
“Litter on our highways has become increasingly prevalent not only in my district, but statewide. It is an unsightly, negative reflection of our scenic coastline and it has detrimental effects on the waterways and ecosystem. I ask for all North Carolinians to be more responsible, properly disposing of their trash, and checking that their cargo loads are secure before entering the roadway.”
Harrison agreed with Bell and Miller.
“I am excited to be working with Majority Leader Bell and my GOP colleagues on bipartisan legislation to clean up our highways and waterways,” Harrison said. “The bill is an important first step and I hope we can continue to look at ways to limit trash entering the waste stream.”