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Caltrans Launches New Program Offering Volunteers up to $250 for Highway Litter Removal as Part of Clean California

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Caltrans today announced a new Clean California pilot program that offers Adopt-a-Highway volunteers up to $250 for picking up highway litter. The Adopt-A-Highway program has been one of the longest-standing and successful government-public partnerships in the state. Since its inception in 1989, more than 120,000 Californians have cleaned and enhanced over 15,000 shoulder-miles of roadside. The new pilot program will augment the overall goals of the Clean California program by providing additional resources to maintain and beautify the state’s roadways. 

“Clean California is all about restoring pride in public spaces and making a difference in our communities, and that goes hand in hand with volunteering,” said Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin. “Through Caltrans’ Adopt-a-Highway program, volunteers can pitch in to clean and beautify our roadsides, and we’re proud to offer an incentive for even more people to help Clean California.”

Part of Governor Gavin Newsom’s California Comeback Plan, Clean California is a sweeping $1.1 billion, multiyear clean-up effort to remove trash, create thousands of jobs and engage communities to transform roadsides into places of public pride. Since July, Caltrans has collected nearly 2,500 tons of trash and made more than 600 conditional job offers as part of the program.

Adopt-a-Highway volunteers help create cleaner and more beautiful roadsides by removing litter, planting trees and flowers, clearing graffiti, and thinning overgrown vegetation, and also help prevent litter and other pollutants from entering state waterways through stormwater drains. Whether completed by an individual or group, Caltrans will award stipends up to $250 total per litter collection event for activities such as:

  • $250 for each adopted highway segment
  • $62.50 for each ramp, or up to $250 for all four ramps
  • Up to $250 for clean-up activities at other locations, such as along bike paths or at park-and-ride facilities.

Caltrans will require volunteers to submit information ― including date, location, amount of trash collected, number of volunteers, hours worked and pictures ― following eligible clean-up activities to receive a stipend. Adopt-A-Highway participants are limited to one payment a month.

As part of the pilot program, the stipends will be available to Adopt-a-Highway volunteers in Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Imperial, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, San Diego, Sierra, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba counties. Caltrans expects to expand the program statewide in the coming months.

People and businesses interested in volunteering can visit CleanCA.com for more details and an online application or call 866-ADOPTAHWY (886-236-7824).

There is no cost to participate in the Adopt-a-Highway program. In addition to clearing litter, Adopt-a Highway volunteers have maintained 1,500 acres of vegetation and planted 100 acres of trees and 36 acres of wildflowers since 1989. Caltrans installs signs displaying the name of the person, family, organization or business on the segment of adopted highway.

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