Motorists should be on the lookout for Adopt-A-Highway volunteers picking up litter along state highways beginning Saturday. Participants in the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) Adopt-A-Highway program will be cleaning up highway roadsides from July 13 to 21, the second of three scheduled pickups this year.
“With no increase in transportation funding since 1997, every dollar counts,” said State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle. “Adopt-A-Highway volunteers provide a financial lift for MDOT and our state by performing needed work that we otherwise couldn’t fund.”
In 2012, Adopt-A-Highway volunteer groups reported collecting about 65,000 bags of trash, a cost benefit to the state of $5.6 million. Volunteers wear high-visibility, yellow-green safety vests required by federal regulations when working within a highway’s right of way. MDOT provides the vests and trash bags for free, and arranges to haul away the trash.
Current volunteers include members of various civic groups, businesses and families. Crew members have to be at least 12 years old and each group must number at least three people.
Sections of highway are still available for adoption. Interested groups should check the MDOT Web page at www.michigan.gov/adoptahighway for more information. Groups are asked to adopt a section of highway for at least two years. There is no fee to participate. Adopt-A-Highway signs bearing a group’s name are posted along the stretches of adopted highway. The year’s final Adopt-A-Highway pickup will be in the fall, from Sept. 21 to 29.