2010-03-25 / Local & State

PennDOT Encourages All To Help Beautify Pa.

Pick It Up PA Days’ to run April 17 to May 1

The Department of Transportation is encouraging Pennsylvanians to help beautify the state by participating in “Pick It Up PA Days” from April 17 through May 1.

“I invite all Pennsylvanians to join the thousands of volunteers who generously give of their time to beautify Pennsylvania each year,” said PennDOT Secretary Allen D. Biehler, P.E. “The people who participate in the Adopt-A-Highway program and these cleanup events are performing a very valuable – and appreciated – community service.”

A listing of cleanup events, resources for organizing a cleanup, and other information about the effort is available online at www.gacofpa.org. Groups interested in adopting a section of highway are encouraged to contact their local PennDOT county maintenance office and ask for the Adopt-A-Highway coordinator, or visit www.dot.state.pa.us.

The Pick It Up PA Days, timed to coincide with Earth Day on April 22, are a featured event of the Great American Cleanup of Pennsylvania, a statewide effort to remove litter and trash from the state’s roadways, parks, riverbanks and open spaces. The entire effort runs through May 31.

PennDOT encourages its Adopt-A-Highway volunteers to do one of their four required cleanups on a Pick It Up PA Day. The 7,156 groups in the Adopt- A-Highway program have twoyear agreements and have adopted 16,562 roadway miles.

In addition, PennDOT encourages individuals and groups to sign up for the Earth Day 40 Challenge, an initiative shared among state departments of Education, Environmental Protection, and Conservation and Natural Resources. Those interested can learn about the initiative at www.iconservepa.org/earthday4 0 and also register their participation beginning April 19.

Over the past three years, the Great American Cleanup of Pennsylvania has yielded more than 24.8 million pounds of collected trash, involved 486,620 volunteers and resulted in 48,545 miles of highways cleaned. As part of those efforts, 273,430 Adopt-A-Highway volunteers collected more than 11.3 million pounds of litter on 30,293 miles of highway in that same period.

Last year alone, more than 171,940 volunteers statewide joined in the cleanup and gathered more than 6.8 million pounds of trash and other debris from 16,498 miles of roadways, trails, waterways and shorelines. PennDOT’s Adopt-A-Highway program participants alone accounted for 3.5 million pounds of trash from 10,375 miles of statemaintained roads as 100,337 volunteers conducted spring cleaning on their adopted sections.

PennDOT provides gloves and safety vests for Adopt-AHighway and Great American Cleanup of Pennsylvania groups. The department typically spends approximately $11 million annually for litter pickup with department staff.

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