PennDOT has earned its eighth consecutive national Partner Award for its continued support of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful and the Great American Cleanup of Pennsylvania. The award is presented annually by Keep America Beautiful and the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The award recognizes states for supporting litter-cleanup programs and emphasizes the importance of anti-litter programs through public/private partnerships.

"These joint programs reduce roadside litter and illegal dumping, ensuring that Pennsylvania remains a litter-free and beautiful place to live," PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch said. "Our highway beautification programs are a great asset in reducing the costs of removing unsightly litter from Pennsylvania's roadways through community and volunteer involvement."

Started in 1990, PennDOT's Adopt-A-Highway Program currently has 7,100 participating groups involving more than 130,000 volunteers who have adopted 16,335 miles of state-maintained roadways.

Adopt-A-Highway allows residents to demonstrate their pride in the beautiful state of Pennsylvania. The program solicits volunteers to clear litter on a two-mile section of state highway, four times a year. In addition to benefitting the environment, the effort helps to reduce PennDOT maintenance costs.

PennDOT provides complete safety training for volunteers as well as orange safety vests and highway warning signs to be used during litter pick-ups. Trash bags are provided and PennDOT will pick up the bagged litter from the roadside. To recognize volunteers' efforts, PennDOT posts signs along the highway giving the group full credit for their efforts. Groups wishing to enroll in the Adopt-A-Highway Program should contact a local PennDOT office.

PennDOT was nominated for the national Partner Award by Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful. The organization is the state affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, Inc., the nation's largest volunteer-based community action and education organization.

For more information about PennDOT and its programs, visit www.dot.state.pa.us.