More than 700,000 pounds of litter was removed from West Virginia’s public roads and highways, thanks to volunteer efforts this spring and fall as part of the state’s Adopt-A-Highway cleanup program.
Numbers were recently finalized for the AAH fall cleanup, which occurred in late September. More than 4,000 volunteers participated in the fall event and removed 201,670 pounds of trash from state roadways. The spring AAH cleanup, which was conducted in April, saw more than 8,000 volunteers collect 517,720 pounds of litter.
“I continue to be amazed by the passion and dedication displayed by West Virginia citizens who annually give up their free time to pick up trash along our roadways,” said AAH Coordinator Sherry Thaxton. “The environment and all West Virginians benefit from our volunteers’ hard work to make the state’s highways beautiful, not only for those of us who live here, but for visitors as well.”
The AAH Program is co-sponsored by the state Department of Environmental Protection’s REAP (Rehabilitation Environmental Action Plan) program and the state Division of Highways. The program’s roots stretch back to the late 1980s when it was established by the Division of Natural Resources to improve the quality of the state’s environment by encouraging public involvement in the elimination of highway litter. It also serves as an educational tool by focusing on the consequences of unchecked public littering.
Another REAP program, West Virginia Make It Shine, conducts a two-week cleanup effort in April each year. This year, over 6,000 volunteers removed 438,115 pounds of litter from the state’s public lands and waterways during various Make It Shine projects.
In total, close to 20,000 volunteers collected 1.1 million pounds of trash from West Virginia’s landscape during the 2013 AAH and Make It Shine cleanups.