Litter on the Loop: What is being done?

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Take a drive on the Inner Loop through Rochester, and you’ll notice just how much garbage is collecting on both sides of the road. City leaders say most of it comes from people throwing trash out of their cars.

News10NBC took a look at what is being done to remove all the litter from the Loop.

There are parts of the Loop filled with so much trash, it makes you wonder just how long it’s been there, and when someone is going to do something about it.

"I think it’s terrible. I think this has been going on for years," said Mark Vinci about the trash problem on the Loop.

As we drove onto the Inner Loop’s entrance on North Union Street, within a few dozen yards we see trash strewn along the left side of the road. It stretches for a good quarter mile. It’s an eyesore for Helene Schechter who sees this trash on her way to and from work.

"I think it’s terrible," Schechter said. "I think it should be something where they pick it up. You know you do have people who do that. So have them clean it up because it’s a busy road, and people do see it."

Although it runs through the city, the 1.4-mile Inner Loop is maintained by the State’s Department of Transportation. We reached out to Rochester’s City Council Members to hear what they thought of this problem. Council President Miguel Melendez said this is nothing new.

"This is a routine issue that we deal with especially when the snow melts, and certainly those first couple weeks there’s a lot of catching up to the garbage across the entire city. So it’s not just an Inner Loop issue," Melendez said.

So we asked him what is being done by the Council.

"From a City Council, and the City of Rochester perspective we definitely want to make sure that, this is taken care of, and I’ll make sure I’ll get those conversations with the appropriate parties tomorrow," Melendez said.

He is also hoping the trash is cleared sooner rather than later.

"I’m assuming our DES Crews will also do what they can as early as tomorrow if possible. So I’ll make sure there’s some communications in that regard," Melendez said.

State DOT Spokesman Joseph Leathersich sent us a statement saying, “With spring finally here and as the weather allows, NYSDOT crews are beginning efforts to clean up trash that has accumulated over the winter months. In addition to our own crews, NYSDOT partners with a mowing contractor that picks up litter before vegetative management begins. We also have many Adopt-a-highway partners across the region. The time utilized for trash pickup is time that our maintenance forces could be using to enhance highway safety, which is why we encourage all motorists to please be respectful of our highway system and dispose of their trash properly.”

Although Melendez said most of the trash comes from passing cars, he also said there is a small homeless community that lives along the Loop.