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Natural Awakenings Charlotte

Wipe Out Waste: Ask A Meck County Expert - How Can I Get Litter Collected Along My Roadside?

Mecklenburg County Solid Waste experts receive hundreds of residential waste disposal and recycling questions weekly. To educate and empower Natural Awakenings readers, their experts provide updates and answer some of the most frequently asked questions in a bi-monthly column. 

How Can I Get the Litter Collected Along My Roadside?

We receive a lot of emails regarding litter. We don’t like litter either, so we definitely want to help make it go away. However, we need you to help be part of the solution too.

First, please understand that in our area most roads are “controlled” by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT). NCDOT usually contracts with a company to pick up litter and cut the grass along the roadways. Roads are divided into categories, like local streets, arteries and interstate highways. These categories determine the frequency of cleaning. Litter collection is usually not handled by the county or city, but by the state. Mecklenburg County participates with Keep Mecklenburg Beautiful (KMB) which adopts roadways to remove litter. You can volunteer with KMB to assist–the link to KMB is:

Obviously, the first part of litter prevention begins with NOT LITTERING, and we ask that you be vigilant about not putting things in the back of vehicles that may inadvertently fly out. That discarded coffee cup in the back of a pick-up will likely land on one of our roadways. We call that inadvertent littering; however, deliberate littering also needs to stop. Unfortunately, we do catch deliberate littering and illegal dumping, and we always work to prosecute those culprits. The State DOT also has a Swat-A-Litterbug program where you can report litter violators here:

Mecklenburg County offers drop-off locations for most disposable items. We ask that when transporting loads to us, please cover and tarp materials so inadvertent littering does not happen. We all want Mecklenburg County to shine and not have litter; please do your part to assist.

Visit our main web site at for more information. And always remember to Recycle Right!


If you have program questions about recycling, waste diversion or anything else related to waste, please visit To submit a waste disposal and recycling question, email [email protected]. Jeff Smithberger, Director of Solid Waste, answers the top seven residential recycling questions at

Mecklenburg Solid Waste - 2145 Suttle Ave Charlotte NC

Mecklenburg Solid Waste - 2145 Suttle Ave, Charlotte, NC

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