Caltrans Offers Volunteers up to $250 for Highway Litter Removal

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Source: Caltrans

Caltrans [last month] 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 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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a-1638227068 Nov 29, 2021 03:04 PM
Caltrans Offers Volunteers up to $250 for Highway Litter Removal

Bring back community service requirements for those who commit minor offenses. That’s the way it used to be. It didn’t matter who you were, if you broke the law you had hours of community service. Which mostly entailed picking up trash on the freeway. Low level offenders could also work off their jail time. It’s a win win for everyone. They discontinued the program because local government said it was too costly to supervise. Ventura County has a work program and people work off their community service hours doing all kinds of things. Building & grounds maintenance at county buildings & parks to washing county vehicles . Any expense in supervision is offset by tons of free labor. This is a way to keep people out of jail and keep them doing something constructive for the community.

PitMix Nov 30, 2021 08:26 AM
Caltrans Offers Volunteers up to $250 for Highway Litter Removal

Ventura's work program is within existing programs that can use the labor, not new programs that need additional staff. New government staff are very expensive and I, for one, appreciate that they are not adding more staff for this. How about we just stop throwing trash out of our car windows? Is that too much to ask?

bosco Nov 29, 2021 11:02 AM
Caltrans Offers Volunteers up to $250 for Highway Litter Removal

Many years ago I was in San Felipe Mexico and saw the Police escorting a bunch of people through downtown collecting the trash in the morning that had built up from partying the night before. Turns out it was all the people they had collected in the drunk tank over night. I thought this was a great solution. Hold the people that make the mess accountable for cleaning it up. We should be doing this with the homeless camps as much as possible. Not to mention the streets and sidewalks that get trashed.

ConservativeSB Nov 29, 2021 11:16 AM
Caltrans Offers Volunteers up to $250 for Highway Litter Removal

I am not big on police authoritarian states, but I love this idea. Reminds me of Isla Vista during Deltopia and Floatopia. Nothing sobers you up after a long weekend like picking up trash on a Sunday morning and having explaining to your professor why you didn’t get your homework done. Hot coffee in the morning, homeless picking up their trash, and they get lunch at the end. Seems reasonable and makes perfect sense. Which means it’ll never happen.

fitz Nov 29, 2021 10:00 AM
Caltrans Offers Volunteers up to $250 for Highway Litter Removal

Come on, Santa Barbara, Monecito and Goleta. Maybe some of the PTAs (adults only) could do an adoption and get their school name out there. They could earn some money for the school, keep their areas looking better, and bring attention to any encampments in their area of highway. They could compete for the cleanest stretch of highway. The current businesses who have stretches can't keep up with the litter. It needs to be done at minimum once a month. That is not happeniing. If you have an encampment nearby, it needs to be done weekly!!!!

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