We Keep WA Litter Free campaign
Litter is a big problem with a simple solution — everyone in Washington doing their part.
Most people don’t litter. But the actions of the few who do add up to expensive cleanups, dangerous road conditions, and a big environmental impact. Every year, Washington’s state and local governments spend millions of dollars to clean up litter, but those efforts only remove a fraction of the millions of pounds of waste that accumulate every year on roads, in communities, and throughout natural habitats.
The impact of litter
Every year, more than 26 million pounds of litter is tossed or blown onto Washington’s roadways and interchanges. Public areas, like rest areas, parks, and recreation areas, see an additional 11.6 million pounds of litter per year.
Our 2022 litter study shows there are 73,580 pieces of litter (1,579 pounds) per mile per year on Washington’s interstate highways. Local roads are the least littered and still have 18,051 pieces of litter (143 pounds) per mile per year.
Litter isn't just ugly, it's dangerous. Roadside litter causes hundreds of car crashes every year and many types of litter, like cigarette butts, leach harmful chemicals into natural habitats.
In 2022, litter-pickup programs we funded collected more than 5.4 million pounds of litter from nearly 16,000 miles of roads, costing almost $6 million.
We need everyone’s help to turn the tide on litter.
Littering or driving with an unsecured vehicle load in Washington could result in fines up to $5,000.