NORTHWEST – Roadside litter costs millions of dollars annually to control. The Colorado Department of Transportation relies on thousands of volunteers in the Adopt a Highway Program to help CDOT’s maintenance forces keep state roadsides clean. But there are still more than 4,000 miles left to be adopted—and more volunteers are needed to help keep Colorado beautiful by picking up litter along state highways.
Through CDOT’s Adopt and Highway Program, the adopting group typically agrees to pick up litter from both sides of a highway for a two-mile section at a minimum of four times per year. However, each segment has its own special needs. A few segments may be longer or shorter than two miles or they may be in an area that doesn’t need attention more than twice in a year. Some groups have adopted several sections of highway.
Adopting groups are encouraged to sort litter when picking up, taking recyclable materials to recycling centers. The group may keep any money collected from their recycling efforts.
“In addition to the beautification benefits of roadside litter removal, the program is a great way for an organization or small group to give back to their community,” said AAH Coordinator Cindy Hancock. “It’s something that brings people outside, working together and sharing in the results—a cleaner, prettier roadside.”
CDOT makes it easy for volunteers to clean up the roadsides. The department will provide a sign crediting the group for volunteering on adopted section of highway; provide litter bags, safety vests and safety videos; and haul the litter bags away after the group places the full bags at the edge of the roadway.
Hancock encourages interested citizens to visit the Adopt a Highway web page at http://www.coloradodot.info/programs/adopt-a-highway, which has information on the program, including the Spruce Up Colorado Adoption Request form and contact information for AAH coordinators across the state.