Trash troubles: Orange County drivers, officials fed up with garbage along state roads

News 12 viewers sent videos and photos of the trash, and officials, including Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus, say they are fed up.

Blaise Gomez

Mar 21, 2024, 8:39 PM

Updated 123 days ago

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Drivers and officials in Orange County are voicing their frustrations with the amount of trash along several state roads that they say is dirty and “embarrassing.”
News 12 viewers sent videos and photos of the trash, and officials, including Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus, say they are fed up.
“It just shows you that the system is failing,” says Neuhaus. It’s absolutely deplorable the condition of the state roads in our region and in Orange County.”
A lot of the garbage seems to be littered on state roads, like Routes 17 and 17M in Chester and Goshen.
State Assemblyman Brian Maher says the trash is so bad that he went out with volunteers over the weekend to clean some of it up himself.
“We had to do something. The state of our roads and the garbage is really embarrassing. The DOT, according to them, only has the resources to do a cleanup once a year and that’s unacceptable,” says Maher.
A representative for the New York state Department of Transportation says “serious resources” are routinely dedicated to cleaning up trash, and says the community can also pitch in by avoiding littering.
“Litter is unsightly and harmful to the environment, which is why we all need to practice good disposal habits and encourage others to do the same,” says public information officer Heather Pillsworth.
News 12 first reported on the issue last year and right afterward, Troop F state police in Middletown said troopers ticketed overweight garbage haulers scattering some of the debris.
News 12 reached out to state police to see how many tickets have been issued for littering since, but haven’t heard back.
Maher, meantime, says Orange County is the lowest-funded and most understaffed region in the state when it comes to DOT services, and that at least $100 million in additional funding is needed for the region.
“We need to find a way to clean our roads more often so we aren’t the embarrassment of the tri-state area,” Maher says.
News 12 asked the state to comment on the alleged lack of DOT resources in Orange County but hasn’t heard back.


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