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Adopt-A-Highway in Michigan begins 


N-Adopt-a-highway1First litter pickup April 15

Highway roadsides across lower Michigan get their first cleanup of the year beginning Saturday. Volunteers in the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) Adopt-A-Highway (AAH) program will pick up litter from April 15 to 23.

Due to snow still on the ground in some areas, the first Adopt-A-Highway pickup for the northern Lower Peninsula and Upper Peninsula will be later, from April 29 to May 7.

“Adopt-A-Highway volunteers take great pride in keeping Michigan roadsides clean,” said State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle. “We have tremendous appreciation for their hard work. Please be alert and drive with caution when you see the crews picking up.”

N-Adopt-a-highway-fastfactsVolunteers pick up litter three times each year. Statewide, there will be a summer pickup from July 15 to 23 and a fall pickup from Sept. 23 to Oct. 1.

Dedicated AAH volunteers collected about 65,000 bags of trash last year, an estimated $5 million value for the state. Volunteers wear high-visibility, yellow-green safety vests required by federal regulations when working within a highway right of way. MDOT provides free vests and trash bags, and arranges to haul away the trash.

The AAH enters its 27th year in 2017 with more than a quarter century of accomplishments behind it. There are 2,887 groups currently active in the program, and they’ve collected more than 2 million bags of litter the state’s roadsides since 1990. Currently, 6,400 miles of highway are adopted.

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. Groups are asked to adopt a section for at least two years. Adopt-A-Highway signs bearing a group’s name are posted along the stretch of adopted highway. There is no fee to participate.

Several landfills in southwestern Michigan are also chipping in to help the Adopt-A-Highway Program. Westside Landfill in Cass County, C&C Landfill in Calhoun County, Orchard Hill Landfill in Berrien County, and Republic Services Gembrit Circle Transfer Station in Kalamazoo, have all agreed to accept trash generated by the three annual scheduled AAH pickups at no charge. In exchange, they receive a sign recognizing their support. Most of these landfills have been making this contribution since 2010.

For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/adoptahighway.

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