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I-435 trash upsets residents on both sides of state line

Posted at 4:28 PM, Apr 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-13 18:10:42-04

LEAWOOD, Kan. -- Drivers traveling along I-435 from Kansas to Missouri have seen a lot of trash on the side of the road. Several who live in the area said they're fed up. 

The stretch of highway between Roe Avenue and State Line Road is one area that people are upset about. 

"It's disgusting and looks like a third-world nation," said Michael Britt, a Leawood resident. 

Britt has lived in Leawood for the past 14 years. He said the highways have never been this bad. 

"I see tires, I see doors, I see insulation, I see huge sheets of plastic flying in the trees," said Britt. 

The Kansas Department of Transportation said there is a landfill nearby and trash trucks constantly travel that route. When it's windy, KDOT said trash can blow around.

Britt said he isn't blaming them but commercial trash companies. 

"I spoke to the Leawood Police Department to ask them if they could devote somebody to the highway and give fines to commercial trash haulers who don't cover their loads," said Dennis Vater, a Missouri resident.

Every day, Vater drives this section of highway. He said all of the trash is unwelcoming. 

"It starts off with just visual pollution. It's an eye-sore obviously, and then it can be a safety concern with debris in the roadway," said Vater. 

Vater also shared his concerns with KDOT. KDOT said they work with the Department of Corrections to get areas cleaned up. 

"They're out here with their gloves and blue bags picking up trash. I haven't noticed that lately though," said Vater. 

Britt and Vater both take pride in where they live. While they would like to set up a community clean-up, they said it's not that easy. 

"It's very difficult to do that yourself on a highway like I-435. The interstate system is so busy and dangerous," said Britt. 

Adopt-A-Highway Litter Removal Service Inc. cleans that section of I-435 three times a year. They plan to be out there sometime next week.