The amount of garbage that can be found on Polish roads is shocking. Travelers throw away plastic bottles, food wrappers, beverage cans. There are used tires and even rubble on the roadsides. The costs of cleaning are gigantic, last year, PLN 16 million was spent on keeping national roads clean in the Mazowieckie Voivodeship alone – alerts the General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways and launches the action: “The road is not a landfill”.
“Road service patrols monitor our routes around the clock. Unfortunately, during the detours, we notice large amounts of garbage that is thrown out of cars” – we read in the GDDKiA communiqué. According to road workers, plastic bottles, food packaging and beverage cans are most often thrown out of cars. There are also remnants of torn tires or broken hubcaps on the road.
“It is not only garbage ‘produced’ during the journey, but also large-size waste or even debris thrown in the road lane” – notes GDDKiA. As he emphasizes, such irresponsible behavior of drivers or their passengers poses a threat to other road users, and huge amounts of taxpayers’ money are spent on cleaning.
Huge cleaning costs
In 2022, to keep clean, among others, roadway, car parks and MOP, GDDKiA spent about PLN 80 million. On the other hand, the annual cost of keeping roads clean in one voivodeship can reach as much as PLN 16 million. “We had to bear such costs in the Mazowieckie Voivodeship. We incurred equally high costs of nearly PLN 12 million in the Podlaskie Voivodeship and about PLN 11 million in the Dolnośląskie voivodship – announced in the communiqué. The lowest amount was spent in the Opolskie Voivodship: PLN 506,000 and in the Podkarpackie Voivodeship: PLN 515,000.
On Earth Day, the General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways launched the “Road is not a landfill” campaign. “We want to show traffic participants the scale of the phenomenon of littering roads (especially the highest categories: highways and expressways). We will point out that litter on the road is not only a matter of aesthetics and the cost of cleaning it, but also the safety of road users” – we read in message.
GDDKiA maintains about 17,800 kilometers of national roads, and taking into account additional roadways, eg service roads, it is over 22,000 kilometers. “The amount we will have to spend on road cleaning depends on all road users – emphasize road workers and appeal to drivers to take care of their own safety, but also of other road users: please throw garbage into specially designated waste bins, which are placed along national roads at Service Areas and car parks.
Detailed locations of MOPs along expressways can be checked on the map on the GDDKiA website.
Main photo source: GDDKiA