Caltrans announced it is expanding the Clean California incentive program statewide and offering up to $250 per month to Adopt-A-Highway volunteers who pick up litter along state highways. The expansion comes after a successful pilot in the Sacramento and San Diego regions that added 230 new highway adoptions in just three months.
“Clean California is all about restoring pride in public spaces and making a difference in our communities,” said Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin. “This incentive is designed to encourage and reward people for volunteering to pick up highway litter and beautify California’s roadways.”
Part of Governor Gavin Newsom’s California Comeback Plan, Clean California is a sweeping $1.1 billion multiyear effort to remove trash, create thousands of jobs and engage communities to transform roadsides into places of public pride. Since July 2021, Caltrans has collected more than 5,600 tons of litter – enough to fill 103 Olympic-size swimming pools – and made more than 500 new hires and another 290 conditional job offers. The Governor’s California Blueprint proposes $100 million to expand the Clean California Local Grant Program into 2023-24, which provides grants to cities, counties, transit agencies, tribal governments and other government agencies to beautify their communities and remove trash and debris.
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 up to $250 per month for activities such as:
- $250 for clearing litter on both sides of a highway
- $62.50 for each ramp, or $250 for all four ramps
- Up to $250 for cleanup activities at other locations, such as along bike paths or 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 cleanup activities to receive a payment. Adopt-A-Highway participants are limited to one payment a month.
There is no cost to participate in the Adopt-A-Highway program. As part of the program, Caltrans installs signs displaying the name of the person, family, organization or business on all segments of adopted highway. Volunteers interested in participating in the Adopt-A-Highway Program can call 866-ADOPTAHWY ((866) 236-7824) or visit CleanCA.com for more information.
Since its inception in 1989, more than 120,000 Californians have cleaned and enhanced more than 15,000 shoulder-miles of roadside. The incentives augment the overall goals of the Clean California program by providing additional resources to maintain and beautify the state’s roadways.