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Year’s First Adopt-A-Highway Litter Pickup Scheduled

MassDOT, Flickr

Michigan’s highway roadsides will soon get a spring cleaning. Almost 3,200 volunteer groups across the state will pick up litter among more then 7,200 miles of state highway from April 14th to 22nd. It’s the first of three pickups this year for the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) Adopt-A-Highway program, which began in 1990.

State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle said “Adopt-A-Highway volunteers care about their local communities and Michigan, and want to make a difference. Their efforts help beautify our state and give visitors a positive impression of Michigan.”

In 2011, Adopt-A-Highway volunteers collected more then 75,000 bags of trash and saved taxpayers $1.5 million in cleanup costs. They 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 the 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 and the name of their county’s coordinator, who can specify available roadsides. Groups are asked to adopt a section of highway for at least two years and there is no fee to participate. Adopt-A-Highway signs bearing a group’s name are posted along stretches of the adopted highway.

There are three scheduled pickups: one each spring, summer and fall. The next two are July 14th to 22nd and September 22nd to 30th.

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