SEAFORD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The worst litterbugs in New York state appear to be on Long Island.
How bad is the situation? As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan found out on Tuesday, state Department of Transportation crews picked up 18 tons of garbage in honor of Earth Day.READ MORE: Strong Winds Topple Jersey City Home Under Construction; 'Devastated' Neighbors Left Homeless: 'It's A Disaster Right Now'
The tossed garbage finds its way into bays and estuaries, clogs catch basins and creates flooding. It also causes major safety issues.
“Littering is not just something that is offensive aesthetically. It also is an economic problem, because we have to use taxpayer dollars to clean it up. It’s also an environmental problem,” said Adrienne Esposito, with Citizens Campaign for the Environment.READ MORE: NYC Business Owners Worry Vaccine Mandate Will Keep Tourists With Young Children Away: 'Just Hugely Problematic'
It also poses a safety problem. Dozens nationwide are injured or killed annually swerving to avoid debris.
“Our state DOT crews spend more time picking up trash and litter on the sides of the roadways than they do filling potholes and clearing snow,” one DOT official told McLogan.MORE NEWS: Intrepid Museum Marks 80 Years Since Pearl Harbor Attack With Wreath-Laying Ceremony
This year, the DOT will spend $6 million in taxpayer dollars to remove Long Island litter.