For the ninth consecutive year, Penn DOT has been presented with the national Partner Award for its continued support of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful and the Great American Cleanup of Pennsylvania.
The Keep America Beautiful and the U.S. Department of Transportation Partner Award recognizes states for their support of litter-cleanup programs and emphasizes the importance of antilitter programs through public/private partnerships.
"Keeping Pennsylvania beautiful is so important to our citizens and our communities, and that is obvious by the number of volunteers who get involved," Penn DOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch said. "It's a great cause that reduces roadside litter and illegal dumping, while reducing costs to do so."
This year's event collected more than 6.7 million tons of unsightly litter from Pennsylvania roadways and other areas including school yards, railroad tracks, trails, waterways, shorelines, as well as parks and wetlands. Volunteers through PennDOT's Adopt-A-Highway program contributed to more than 88 percent of the 6.7 million tons of litter collected.
Started in 1990, PennDOT's Adopt-A-Highway Program currently has 7,028 participating groups involving more than 130,000 volunteers who have adopted 16,177 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 benefiting the environment, the effort helps to reduce Penn DOT maintenance costs.
PennDOT provides complete safety training for volunteers as well as orange safety vests and highway warning signs to be used during litter pickups. 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.
For more information about PennDOT and its programs, visit www.dot.state.pa.us.