Second Adopt-A-Highway cleanup is underway statewide

Each year, Adopt-A-Highway volunteers collect loads of litter, an estimated $5 million value

Photo of Angela Mulka
Adopt-A-Highway pickup volunteers in action from previous year.

Adopt-A-Highway pickup volunteers in action from previous year.

Photo provided/Michigan Department of Transportation

A second Adopt-A-Highway litter pickup event is underway in Michigan.

The environmentally conscious program began in Michigan in 1990, and has grown to involve more than 2,900 groups cleaning more than 6,000 miles of highway, according to a Michigan Department of Transportation press release. Volunteers usually collect 60,000 to 70,000 bags of litter, an estimated $5 million value for the state.

“Our thousands of Adopt-A-Highway volunteers deserve thanks for helping to save taxpayer dollars while keeping Michigan roadsides clean,” State Transportation Director Paul C. Ajegba told CBS Detroit. “Their community spirit and pride make a huge difference. We ask all motorists to keep an eye out for these volunteers and drive cautiously during the pickup periods.”

With no fee to participate, adopt a section of highway today. Additionally, a similar statewide pickup is scheduled this fall, from Sept. 25 to Oct. 3. The Michigan Department of Transportation asks groups to adopt sections for at least two years.

The following is a basic outline of the program from an Adopt-A-Highway coordinator: 

1. Litter pickup areas are typically both sides of a two mile stretch of roadway, including freeway ramps. Pick up in medians of divided roadways is not permitted. Pick up within construction zones is not permitted.

2. Groups should have a minimum of three people. Participants must be at least 12 years old. Participants under the age of 18 years old must have adult supervision at a rate of one adult to every three children.

3. There is no cost to participate. The Michigan Department of Transportation supplies safety information, safety vests and trash bags. It also furnishes and installs two Adopt-A-Highway signs bearing your group’s name on the roadway adopted.

Michigan Department of Transportation

General Inquiries

Phone: 517-241-2400

Fast fact: Michigan's 122,032 miles of public roads are 10th largest in the nation.

4. Groups must commit to a minimum of two years and your commitment period is open-ended; you will remain in the program until you voluntarily withdraw or fail to abide by the permit conditions.

5. Groups can join the program any time of year and litter pickup is done three times per year in spring, summer and fall. This year’s pickup periods are April 17-25 (most of the Lower Peninsula) May 1-9 (northern Lower Peninsula and Upper Peninsula) July 17-25 and Sept. 25-Oct. 3.

6. The Michigan Department of Transportation picks up the accumulated trash on the roadways following the designated pickup dates.

More information can be found on Michigan Department of Transportation’s Adopt-A-Highway website www.michigan.gov/adoptahighway.

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