Litter along roadways has been an issue for many years. Not only are litter and debris detrimental to the environment, but they can also be a serious deterrent for tourists or individuals interested in relocating to the area. For years, the problem of littered roadways was becoming increasingly worse. This led states to ask the question, “Whose job is it to clean up the roadways?” “Is there a way to consistently provide roadway cleanup services?”.

Thus, the Adopt-A-Highway and Sponsor-A-Highway programs were born. The Adopt-a-Highway and Sponsor-a-Highway programs are promotional campaigns undertaken by US States to encourage volunteers and businesses to keep a section of road litter-free. Businesses and organizations “adopt the highway,” where the entity agrees to regular litter removal services in exchange for signage along the section of the highways they maintain. This is consistent marketing to hundreds of thousands of drivers every month, which can be a major benefit to local businesses.

How did the Adopt-A-Highway Program Begin?

The Adopt-A-Highway program began in the 1980s when James Evans, an engineer for the Texas Department of Transportation, saw trash flying out of a truck bed. Litter cleanup by the city was expensive, so Evans sought the help of local groups to sponsor the cleaning of sections of the highway. The efforts of Billy Black, a TxDOT public information officer, led to quarterly cleanup cycles, volunteer safety training, the issuing of reflective vests and equipment, and the posting of adopt-a-highway signs.

In 1985, the Tyler Civitan Club became the first group to volunteer, adopting two miles along U.S. Route 69. The program proved to be very successful and has since spread to 49 states (with the others inventing similar programs of their own) and internationally to Puerto Rico, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and Japan.

How does the program work in Nevada and California?

Nevada and California both offer Adopt-a-Highway and Sponsor-a-Highway programs. In both programs, an organization that contributes to the cleanup is allowed to post its name on the Adopt-a-Highway signage along the roadway.

There is one main difference between the Adopt-A-Highway and Sponsor-A-Highway programs. When a business adopts a highway, the adopting organization provides the volunteers who do the litter pickup, whereas a sponsoring organization pays professional contractors to do the work instead. Because of safety concerns, the Sponsor-A-Highway programs are more typical along highways with high traffic volumes.

Grapplers Inc. is proud to work with Adopt-a-Highway program coordinators or any State Department of Transportation agent to offer a 5% discount when purchasing Grapplers trash pickup tools for Adopt-a-Highway volunteers!

To receive the discount simply contact Grapplers at 877-212-5803 and tell them about your volunteer project.

What does it mean if my business or organization chooses to Adopt-A-Highway?

A partnership with the Sponsor A Highway® Program would mean that:

  • Collaboratively, thousands of miles of roadway will be cleaned, and millions of pounds of litter will be removed.
  • Your business will continue to enhance its Corporate Social Responsibility making you a major leader in environmental awareness throughout the community in which you and your employees work and live.
  • Your business will inspire other companies and individuals to take on environmental initiatives.
  •  Your business will be recognized as a Goodwill Partner of the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) and featured on our website and in our social media.

Help keep your state clean, green, and beautiful by Adopting or Sponsoring a Highway!

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