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Arizonans took to state highways for National Cleanup Day

Arizonans took to state highways for National Cleanup Day

September 20, 2023

Effort organized by ADOT Adopt a Highway removed 214 bags of litter

PHOENIX – Arizonans did their part on the recent National Cleanup Day by picking up 214 bags of litter along state highways through the Arizona Department of Transportation’s Adopt a Highway volunteer program. 

Fifteen groups with 123 volunteers answered the call to participate in this special event on Saturday, Sept.16. Some of those groups have adopted highway miles through Adopt a Highway, while others joined in for the day. 

One of those groups was the Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection, which had seven volunteers fill 13 bags with litter along Oracle Road (State Route 77) on the north side of Oro Valley. 

“It feels good just cleaning up native habitat along the highway and making sure that all the native vegetation has space to grow and that people have a nice place to bike,” said Jonni Zeman, the group’s program and communications coordinator. “It’s great to just be here making a difference, even if it’s small.”

ADOT’s Tucson North Motor Vehicle Division office had 12 team members pick up 16 bags of litter along Oracle Road between Ina and Orange Grove roads, while two other team members delivered drinks and collected bags. The office has adopted this segment and will hold cleanups throughout the year.

“It’s just a way for us to connect to the community and be part of it,” said Jessica Robeson, an MVD customer service representative. 

Other state highways where volunteers participated in National Cleanup Day were Interstate 19, State Route 260 and US 60. 

This event complements the work of more than 6,000 Adopt a Highway volunteers who help keep state highways looking grand throughout the year. In 2022 alone, these volunteers filled more than 12,500 bags of litter while contributing time and effort worth more than $600,000. 

And there’s room for plenty more. Civic-minded individuals, families, religious groups and others may receive two-year permits to clean up roadside litter on highway segments, largely in rural areas, that are deemed safe for volunteers. You’ll see their names on signs identifying their adopted miles. 

For more information and to join our Adopt a Highway family, please visit azdot.gov/AdoptAHighway.