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Volunteers needed for Adopt-A-Highway program in Chester County

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Litter on Tennessee’s public roads is an enormous burden to the state with impacts on public health and safety, the environment and the economy. According to the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s (TDOT) latest Visible Litter Study, littering in Tennessee has decreased by 12 percent since 2016. While these findings are encouraging, there are still more than 88 million pieces of litter on the state’s roadways at any given time.
“Litter is more than an eyesore,” said Tennessee Department of Transportation’s (TDOT) Adopt-A-Highway Program Coordinator, Brittany Morris. “Preventing and reducing litter not only helps protect the scenic beauty of Tennessee, but it also helps protect wildlife and water quality, and helps maintain healthy and vibrant communities. Adopt-A-Highway is just one program that TDOT offers as part of its mission to keep our roadways safe and clean.”
Adopt-A-Highway is a completely free program has been around since 1989 and is an excellent way for individuals, families, businesses, community groups and civic organizations of all sizes to give back. Participating in the program gives Tennesseans the opportunity to get outdoors, give back to their community and make a positive impact on the environment. Program participants are also rewarded with a free roadside recognition panel displaying their chosen message along the adopted route.
Adopt-A-Highway volunteers must be at least 12 years old and commit to cleaning up a TDOT-approved two-mile stretch of roadside each quarter. “While one cleanup per season is recommended, they may be conducted more frequently,” said Morris. TDOT provides all necessary supplies including plastic bags, trash grabbers, gloves, caution signs and safety vests, and TDOT will even pick up the filled bags at the end of the cleanup.
Since its inception, Adopt-A-Highway participants have removed more than 12 million pounds of litter from Tennessee roadsides. Last year, more than 87,000 pounds of litter was removed through the efforts of volunteers. In total, more than 476 miles of highway across the state have been adopted and there are several available routes in Chester County ready for adoption.
“Volunteering with Adopt-A-Highway really makes an impact in each community and helps reduce the millions of dollars TDOT spends on litter removal each year,” Morris said.
Adopt-A-Highway routes available for adoption in Chester County include: J Henderson: US Highway 45 S., Deanburg: Bethel Church Rd., and Mifflin: State RT 200 into Luray Rd.
All available routes may be viewed online on the Adopt-A-Highway map at: https://www.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=f78fdc58b6194782bd7c6b06826be836

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The Chester County Independent is a weekly newspaper, published on Thursdays, serving Chester County, Tennessee.

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