Roadside Litter
Roadside litter can have negative impacts on the environment, create hazards on our roads, and affect our sense of community pride.

Addressing roadside litter also takes additional resources that could be spent on other road maintenance priorities.
   Report roadside littering

Roads in unincorporated Pierce County or (253) 798-6000

State highways
Washington State Department of Transportation

Cities and towns
Please contact the jurisdiction.
Litter sources
Roadside litter comes from several sources, including:
  Littering by individuals (on foot or in vehicles)
  Illegal dumping of building materials
  Overfilled garbage cans and unsecured lids
  Unsecured vehicle loads
  Illegal dumping of household or business garbage
By the Numbers
In 2022, the PPW Maintenance and Operations Division:
Roadside Litter Icons-02
Removed 778 tons
(about 1.5 million pounds) 
of litter along county roads.
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14,689 hours
spent responding to
roadside litter.
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1,751 responses
to requests for service 
regarding roadside litter.
How You Can Help
On the road
  Dispose of trash properly. 
Find a garbage can at your destination, at a gas station or rest area, or take it home.  

  Keep a litter bag in your vehicle. 
Check for ideas and occasional giveaways of free litter bags. 

  Leave no trace. 
Bring a litter bag with you to parks, trails, etc., and pack out garbage to dispose of properly. If a garbage can is full, take it with you rather than overfilling the can.

  Secure your vehicle loads.
 Learn how at
At home and work
  Make sure your garbage cart or dumpster lid is closed to prevent wind and animals from making a mess.

  Don’t overfill your cart. 
If you need a larger cart, talk to your service provider.

  Bag your trash. 
Loose trash can become litter when emptied into garbage trucks. Double bag waste from pets and vacuums. 

  Take large loads to a transfer station

  Get tips and tricks on reducing your waste:
Visit our sustainability classroom.
Our Response
Our PPW Maintenance and Operations Division responds to address litter on county roads. 

  Litter in the road
This is our highest priority, and we will respond right away.

  Roadside locations with a high volume of litter
This is our second highest priority. We will respond as resources allow.

  Scattered litter along the roadside
This is considered a low priority. We respond as resources allow. Roads with scattered litter are good candidates for our Adopt a Road Program

Small amounts of litter are picked up using one of our pickup trucks. For illegal dumping or locations with high volumes of litter, we typically send a backhoe and a dump truck.

Crew Response:
Each of our four maintenance areas has a response truck scheduled each weekday. The one- or two-person team responds to reports of roadside litter, along with other issues such as potholes, sight distance concerns (such as overgrown vegetation), and dead animals.
Our partners

We appreciate our partners who help us respond to litter on county roads. 

Residences and Businesses
Many individuals and businesses pick up litter around their property and along nearby roads.

Volunteer groups pick up litter along roads and in our communities. Want to participate? Learn about our Adopt-A-Road Program. You can also Adopt a Highway through the Washington State Department of Transportation.