Taxpayers stuck with cost of fireworks cleanup - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Taxpayers stuck with cost of fireworks cleanup

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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

Everybody loves watching fireworks on July 4, but the real work starts on July 5, when TxDOT crews are diverted from their normal work to clean up the piles of litter left behind.

"We would hope that everyone would take pride in our state - in keeping it beautiful and litter-free, especially since yesterday was the Fourth of July. We were celebrating our great nation, but sadly that's not the case and we actually have a crew out today picking up firework debris and trash," said Dianah Ascencio, spokeswoman for Texas Department of Transportation Lubbock District.

Ascencio said a TxDOT crew of two hit the streets early Friday morning to clean up the sea of debris that was left out.

"A lot of the debris is fireworks and the associated litter with that, so we do have a crew that's working hard today and possibly Monday to pick up all the litter that's been left behind," Ascencio said.

Ascencio said they are doing their best to educate the public on not littering and the consequences that come with it.

"Many of them may not be aware of the fact that littering in Texas is illegal and litterers can be fined up to $500 for their first offense. Repeat offenders face fines up to $2,000 and 180 days in jail," she said.

Even after the mess is cleaned up, Ascencio said someone will still have to pay.

"Eventually it does come out of the taxpayers' pocket. Having to pull guys from their regularly-scheduled work to go out there and clean up, because we want to make sure that the roads are clean and safe for the traveling public."

Ascensio asks the public to please be responsible when celebrating.

"The Fourth of July does add the responsibility of not only discharging fireworks safely, but making sure that they dispose of their fireworks debris and trash as well properly."

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