Wake County, N.C. – North Carolina’s 79,000 miles of road have spurred the state to find innovative solutions to the state’s roadside trash woes, but its 1998 purchase of the $47,000 Litter Picker machine is apparently not the solution. After being used in Wake and Johnston counties, the machine, which was once touted by state engineers as an ideal solution to litter problems, was deemed unacceptable and sent to Johnston County, where it has resided for most of the past six years. The machine is currently being used only five to seven times per year. In 2002, the state collected more than eight million pounds of garbage at a cost of $14 million. The state’s Department of Transportation begins its annual litter sweep in April.