Trash thrown in the street from a passing vehicle. (Photo: Armin Djuhic)
PHOENIX – Reporting drivers who toss trash out of their vehicles isn’t literally as easy as 1-2-3, but the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) has made it nearly as simple by allowing drivers to quickly make a report by dialing another simple number: 511.
That’s the number to ADOT’s recently enhanced Arizona Traveler Information line, which now features an option to report litterbugs on state highways. Once drivers call 511, they can select the second option for the litter hotline. Callers are then asked to provide a license plate number, type of litter, location and time of day.
ADOT uses the information to send a letter to the vehicle’s registered owner to remind the person that littering is illegal and can result in a $500 fine when witnessed by law enforcement.
ADOT’s letter includes a small litterbag to place inside the car for future use and a “Thank you” for helping us Keep Arizona Grand, ADOT’s litter program motto. ADOT issued more than 1,300 of those letters in the past year.
The letter also informs drivers of the high price of litter, as it costs more than $4 million a year to remove trash from Arizona highways. Plus, roadside trash leaves residents and visitors with a poor impression of Arizona.
The 511 option for reporting litter is one of several ways ADOT allows drivers to report drivers who litter as part of the Adopt A Highway program.
The existing Litter Hotline takes reports online at Litter.AZ.gov or at 877-354-8837.