Adopting a Highway: Top 10 questions answered

Adopting a Highway: Top 10 questions answered

By Mary Currie / ADOT Communications
July 27, 2022

Traveling through Arizona, you may have noticed Adopt a Highway recognition signs dotted along the highway. Well, if you have ever wondered what those signs are all about, we’ve answered some of the frequently asked questions here:

No. 1 What is the cost to participate in the volunteer program? 

There is no cost to participate. ADOT will install a recognition sign displaying the name of the volunteer group at each end of the segment after receiving the group’s first documented litter cleanup. 

No. 2 Do the people who adopt it actually pick up the trash?

Volunteer permits are granted to families, individuals, companies and organizations that tend to an adopted segment. The volunteer group leader reports litter pickups to ADOT as part of the permit agreement. 

No. 3 Why is it important to report litter bag totals to ADOT

Trash data is well, a bit like finding gold for us here at the Adopt a Highway office. Information collected from the efforts of 7,441 volunteers helps us understand how much litter is picked-up each year along highways in Arizona, as shown in the infographic on the right. Volunteer participation is what makes this program successful and helps keep Arizona grand!

No. 4 How often do I have to clean the area? 

Volunteers agree to clean adopted segments at least one time per year although many volunteer groups clean quarterly or more often than that. 

No. 5 What about the recyclables?

If you choose to collect recyclable items, bring your own bags to fill and haul them away along with your volunteers after the cleanup. 

No. 6 Does ADOT provide equipment to volunteers?

ADOT provides contact information and instructions for volunteers to pick up bags and safety vests prior to each cleanup. Be sure to plan two weeks ahead by contacting your district to reserve these items to ensure we have plenty in stock. Volunteers may choose to bring their own ANSI Class 2 safety vests, gloves and pick up sticks.

No. 7 Who picks up the filled trash bags?

ADOT maintenance crews pick up filled volunteer trash bags after the cleanup and dispose of them. 

No. 8 Can any section of highway be adopted? 

Not quite. Adoptable highway segments are approved by ADOT for the safety of our volunteers. We want to be sure that dedicated volunteer segments have adequate parking in a safe location.

No. 9 Who can adopt a highway?

ADOT welcomes civic-minded individuals and groups that are interested in collecting litter on an adopted segment of state highway in Arizona. We have thousands of miles to choose from. Contact us and a local permit technician will help you find a segment near or as close to your desired location as possible. 

No. 10 Is that it? 

Pretty much—that’s the big stuff. For more answers and steps to get started click here

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