"Trucker Bombs" Litter Wisconsin Highways

By: Dana Brueck
By: Dana Brueck

Truckers haul their cargo on highways across the country, but they admit, some drivers leave dangerous debris behind them.
Some have dubbed this particular kind of trash "trucker bombs."
"We find debris that's pretty disgusting to put it mildly," Rock County's public works director Ben Coopman says.
Rock County's highway employees find debris that just as dangerous as it is disgusting.
"Bandages that are soiled, clothes soiled with things like vomit ... baby diapers," he says.
Even bottles filled with urine.
Some people across the country call them "trucker bombs" ... a potentially explosive problem that you see here, littering a highway in Washington state.
"Truckers do that. Truckers urinate in bottles and toss them out," trucker Kenneth Morrison from Washington says.
He opts to go at a rest stop.
"It don't take that long to stop ... seven minutes," he says.
But truckers say they see it wherever they stop.
"You pull off on ramp to check a tire ... find all kinds of pee bottles and stuff ... problem needs to be taken care of," trucker Don Winter says.
Rock County employees take care of the problem but put themselves at risk.
"One of the things that we always talk about is communication of diseases," Coopman says.
Coopman says the county is increasingly using mowers like this one with an enclosed cab to protect workers from anything that might fly up or splatter them.
"Grass is quite tall so it hides a lot of things ... these medical or body byproducts are always a concern of our people," Coopman says.
At least two counties in Wisconsin give their employees shots for Hepatitis B.
Rock County workers who fill these dumpsters wear heavy duty gloves and use tools to avoid touching debris directly.
Responsible truckers say the problem could stem from companies picking up lower quality employees.
"A lot of them are just plain lazy ... need somebody to pick up behind them," one says.
"People should take more pride in their job," another says.
MSNBC reports that Washington state cracked down on trucker bombs by increasing its fine to more than one thousand dollars for dangerous litter.

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