Don't Mess With Texas Road Tour - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

05/15/04 - Lufkin

Don't Mess With Texas Road Tour

Lufkin is a small East Texas town that's part of a really big problem.

"Here in Angelina County, we're spending over a hundred and fifty thousand dollars a year. District-wide, which we cover nine counties, we're spending almost half a million dollars a year to clean up litter," said Kathi White, with TxDot.

Most of that litter comes from Texans between the ages of 16 and 24.

"It has to do with their lifestyle. What's easy is definitely the way to go. They're out, they're about, they're running around and they just don't think about the consequences. They don't think it's an important issue for them, and they don't realize how much it costs taxpayers to clean up litter," said Jill Burpo, with Enviromedia. 

What's even more surprising than the amount of litter and the cleanup cost in East Texas, is the excuses that come from people who litter.

"Oh, you wouldn't believe'em. A lot of times we get, 'There's other litter out there, one more piece isn't going to hurt. This area's clean, somebody gets paid to pick it up.' Those types of things, which just increases the cost that we have to pay for cleanups," said Krista Cloonan, the executive director of Angelina Beautiful Clean.

Cloonan says litter not only keeps Texas unattractive, it also keeps Texas unhealthy.

"Anytime that you have any litter that's out there that doesn't decompose, it can collect water and especially the West Nile Virus, and the diseases going around that insects or animals can carry, it can create health hazards for people," said Cloonan. 

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