Annual Adopt-A-Highway Spring cleanup set for April 24

CHARLESTON, WV – The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) is now accepting registrations for the Adopt-A-Highway Spring Statewide Cleanup set for Saturday, April 24.

Co-sponsored by the WVDEP and the state Division of Highways, the Adopt-A-Highway program is administered by the WVDEP’s Rehabilitation Environmental Action Plan (REAP), and improves the quality of the state’s environment by encouraging public involvement in the elimination of highway litter.

Since the program’s inception in 1988, state citizens have cleaned up close to 70,000 miles of state highways and roads during annual spring and fall Adopt-A-Highway events.

Individuals, families, churches, businesses, schools, civic organizations, government agencies and communities can register to pick up trash on almost any state-maintained road, back road or main route. Private roads and interstate highways cannot be adopted.

The Adopt-A-Highway program provides garbage bags, work gloves and safety vests to volunteers, and takes care of disposing of collected trash. Volunteers must be at least 12 years old to participate. One-time cleanups are encouraged but must be registered.

Due to COVID-19, groups must register in advance and inform their county DOH garage if they need supplies. Each group must designate a person to do a curbside pickup of the supplies at their garage. Masks must be worn while picking up supplies.

To register, call 1-800-322-5530 or send an email to dep.aah@wv.gov. If you reach the REAP voicemail, please leave your name, phone number, group name, date of cleanup, number of participants, and the county where your adopted road is located.

The WVDEP encourages all volunteers to wear a mask and stay socially distant during their cleanups in order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The 2019 Adopt-A-Highway spring cleanup saw nearly 4,000 volunteers from over 450 groups remove 220,000 pounds of litter from 319 miles of roadway, 132 miles of streams, and 48 illegal dumpsites, and collected 1,988 discarded tires. The 2020 spring cleanup was canceled due to COVID-19.

REAP, whose new motto is ‘Keeping WV Clean and Green,’ was created in 2005 and strives to clean up West Virginia and rid the state of litter. The program empowers citizens to take ownership of their communities by providing technical, financial, and resource assistance in cleanup and recycling efforts. More information is available on the REAP webpage: https://dep.wv.gov/environmental-advocate/reap/Pages/default.aspx.

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