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DOTD employees joining effort to pick up litter in Louisiana

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BATON ROUGE - As the people whose job it is to fix the roadways, DOTD is now working to fix how they look.

“We’ve always had a commitment to removing litter and improving the image of Louisiana, and I thought about how we as a department could be more intentional about that. So we created a new policy. It’s called the ‘Take 10’ policy,” DOTD Secretary Shawn Wilson said.

Wilson is asking his operations staff to take 10 minutes to pick up garbage around areas they are working on.

"If we're cleaning up a bridge, or doing a bridge inspection, we’re going to clean all of the state's right away. So we're providing them with bags and pickers," Wilson said.

DOTD, which is already involved in litter abatement, spends an average of $9 million picking up trash each year. But even with this new initiative, they still need help.

“The other piece of this challenge is encouraging locals to accept that commitment, that you’ll take 10 minutes out of your work day if you’re outsideoutdoorsjust to pick up trash.”

And no one embodies that challenge more than Jennifer Richardson.

“I pick up litter every day in my personal time on my morning walks, so I encourage everybody to do that. If everybody did that it would be a huge difference,” she said.

Richardson also organizes community litter removal events at particularly trashy intersections every Saturday.

“Well, we just started in January. So we’ve only been doing this for three months, and I think we’ve probably picked up about 350 bags of garbage just in my little group.”

She’s been vocal about government getting involved and believes this new initiative from DOTD is a good start.

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