Drivers complain of oversized trash dumped near I-70 split

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Drivers who travel along I-70 near the split are fed up with how much debris litters the road.

Nearly 22,000 vehicles pass through that area every day. Eric Smith takes the route to work and says he constantly sees oversized trash.

“Car bumpers, rolls of carpet, window panes, plywood, 2-by-4s,” he listed. “It just keeps accumulating and accumulating.”

After calling and emailing Indiana’s Department of Transportation for more than a year, Smith contacted the CBS4 Problem Solvers.

Within minutes of driving, our crew spotted the same items strewn about the highway.

“As a taxpayer and someone who drives that route every single day, having to deal with it gets pretty frustrating,” Smith explained.

On camera, INDOT admitted that the state has a litter problem. The department confirms about a third of the complaints they receive statewide stem from Indianapolis specifically.

“If an area doesn’t look that great, we’re going to get to it,” communications director Christopher Myers said.

Myers insisted that INDOT did not fall behind on that stretch of roadway, but instead pointed to the fact that state crews have been busy with their winter weather response and pothole repairs. He added that cleaning up litter in such a high volume area like the I-70 split is dangerous.

“A lot of times, they have to be out there during after-hour periods,” he said.

Smith wasn’t the only driver to call and complain about the area. Despite several folks contacting Problem Solvers to ask when INDOT will address the problem, the state said they hadn’t received any additional comments about the interstate.

Myers couldn’t promise extra attention to the location, explaining anytime they receive a litter report, crews try to respond with an hour. He said litter prevention was the best option and talked about the state’s upcoming Trash Bash, which kicks off in April. During that time, crews will hop on street sweepers and plan to make litter cleanup a priority.

INDOT also suggested that anyone concerned about a specific location should file their complaint using as much information as possible. Myers said people should provide the interstate location, mile marker, direction and time of day that the debris was located. He also encouraged people to leave their contact information so that representatives can respond and follow up if necessary.