The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) asks motorists to stay alert for Adopt-a-Highway volunteers, who are routinely collecting trash and recyclables along state highways.
“Each year, thousands of Wisconsinites volunteer their time to remove litter and keep our roadsides clean for state residents and visitors,” WisDOT Secretary Craig Thompson said. “We are grateful to these groups for their commitment to this important public service. Their pride in our state should encourage all drivers to properly dispose of trash and keep Wisconsin beautiful.”
Last year, Wisconsin Adopt-a-Highway groups collected more than 130 tons of trash and recyclables. WisDOT reminds drivers to buckle up, put the phone down and follow speed limits on Wisconsin highways, especially when these volunteer groups are working along the roadside.
New to the program this year, the department has automated forms on the Adopt-a-Highway website to streamline reporting cleanup efforts. The interactive map unveiled last year shows areas maintained by Wisconsin’s 2,889 Adopt-a-Highway groups as well as what routes are still available for additional volunteers.
As part of the program, WisDOT furnishes safety vests, highway worker signs, a safety training video, trash bags, and two permanent signs identifying the group. Each group must provide one adult supervisor for every five or six volunteers. Groups do not work in dangerous areas like medians, bridges or steep slopes.
Adopt-a-Highway workers are asked to clean up their assigned two-mile state highway segment at least three times per year. County highway crews gather the bagged materials for proper disposal. Of the 11,800 miles of state highway in Wisconsin, about 3,850 miles (about one-third of the system) are still available for adoption, meaning there’s plenty of room for interested volunteers. Check out the interactive map to find nearby opportunities.