By Evan Caldwell
Stanwood Camano News 

Volunteers tackling growing amount of roadside litter


Last updated 10/5/2022 at 2:06pm

Evan Caldwell, Stanwood Camano News

Scenes from the Camano Cleanup Crew picking up litter Sunday, Sept .25, 2022 on Camano Hill Road.

Conner Smith added another piece of litter to his already packed trash bag.

"It hurts my soul to see people take advantage of a place so pristine," he said while pausing his work along Camano Hill Road. "You see garbage, and it just irks you."

Smith is one of a handful of the Camano Cleanup Crew, a group that recently adopted the stretch of island roadway to pick up litter. It is one of seven groups on Camano that participates in the county's Adopt-A-Road program.

However, they - and groups like them across the state - are seeing an increasing amount of trash.

About 24,000 pieces of litter were found each mile on Washington's urban interstate highways, according to preliminary results from a 2022 statewide by the state Department of Ecology. Plastic food wrappers, snack bags and cigarette butts are some of the most common items. In all, more than 18 million pounds of litter accumulate annually on Washington's roads, parks and recreation areas, according to the study.

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