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As the unseasonably warm temperatures continue, Missouri Department of Transportation is looking for help removing litter from the state’s roadways.

“We’ve completed the last of our mowing for 2021 and this has the unfortunate effect of making litter more visible along Missouri roads,” said Natalie Roark, state highway maintenance director. “While the weather continues to cooperate, we’re hoping to encourage people to help out by cleaning their section of adopted roadway — before the winter snows set in.”

Since 1987, Missouri’s Adopt-A-Highway program has involved volunteers across the state working together to clean up Missouri. Currently, more than 5,300 groups and 50,000 volunteers in the program are focused on making Missouri’s roadsides cleaner and more attractive for residents and visitors. More than 6,400 miles of roadway have been adopted.

Last year, MoDOT spent $6.4 million to remove litter from more than 385,000 acres of roadsides along 34,000 state highway miles. Adopters perform about $1 million a year in litter cleanup and beautification efforts. In addition to volunteers and staff, MoDOT employs incarcerated crews throughout the state. Every area kept free of litter by these crews and adopters allows MoDOT to devote resources to other much-needed tasks.

The best way to prevent litter on Missouri roads is to not create it in the first place.

“It all starts with you,” Roark said. “Remember, if you don’t throw it out, we don’t have to pick it up. Every effort by the public to eliminate or clean up litter helps offset our trash removal costs and allows the department to put more money back into maintaining Missouri’s roads and bridges.”

Ways you can help

•Don’t litter. Keep a bag for trash in your car or truck and wait to dispose of it properly

•Secure the load. Make sure nothing blows out or off of your vehicle into the roadway. In addition to creating litter, unsecured loads can be a safety hazard to the vehicles behind you.

•For more information about how to join the Missouri Adopt-A-Highway program, go to 

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