ANNAPOLIS, MD – The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration will launch an all-hands-on-deck litter and debris removal effort starting today in advance of the Labor Day weekend. State Highway Administration maintenance shop personnel will span the state to beautify roadsides as part of its Operation Clean Sweep Maryland project. Litter, including plastic bottles, fast food containers, and cigarette butts can wind up in highway drainage systems, which can clog the system or cause slow drainage. This creates dangerous conditions, such as ponding of water during storms. Litter that makes it past drainage systems can enter streams, rivers, and the Chesapeake Bay, and poses a threat to wildlife habitats. Operation Clean Sweep Maryland was launched in February 2023 to perform an all-hands-on deck litter and debris removal effort across Maryland. In fiscal year 2023, the State Highway Administration collected nearly 9,000 truckloads of litter and debris from Maryland highways. Since July 1, crews have collected an additional 1,000 truckloads.