Skip Top Navigation

Adopt a Highway Information

Photo: Soroptimist International of Sedro Woolley volunteer to pick up litter. Soroptimist International of Sedro Woolley volunteers pick up litter four times per year on thier adopted roadside.
Adopt-a-Highway is a roadside clean-up program that promotes pride and local ownership in Washington. Become a volunteer and your group will be doing something great for your community.

  • Your group will pick up litter as outlined in your agreement.
  • Your group will Adopt a section of roadside (usually two miles).
  • Your groups name will be placed on AAH sign at the site for recognition.

How do I sign up for the Adopt-a-Highway program?

All you need to do is contact your local coordinator.

How do I know what is available for adoption?

You can look up what is available  online or contact your  local coordinator.

How often are we required to clean up our section?

This is outlined in your agreement with WSDOT. The agreeement is for a 4 year period which can be extended or canceled.

Can we landscape our section of the highway?

Contact your  local WSDOT contact if you’d like to do more.

What is a mile post or a mile marker?

Have you noticed those small markers along the side of
Interstate highways and some other roads? They are usually green
or white and have the word MILE along with a number; some just
have the number.

These "mile markers" show the number of miles from where the
Interstate route entered the state in which you are traveling. The
counting always begins at the state line in the south (for
north-south routes) and in the west (for east-west routes). So, mile
marker numbers always get larger as you travel east or north.

When and where do we get the equipment (hats, vests, signs, etc.)?

WSDOT offices have volunteers pick up equipment before their first time picking up litter and hold onto the equipment, other offices loan the equipment for litter pickup only.

Do we get "pick up sticks"?

WSDOT does not provide these. However, you can buy them at your local hardware store.


How do we practice good safety when picking up litter?

Use the equipment provided to you by your coordinator and follow WSDOT's safety tips.  

Why can't we pick up litter on holidays?

Traffic tends to be greater during these times, and you are encouraged to pick up during non-peak traffic flows, such as weekends and mid-day during the week.

What do we do if we find large or dangerous objects?

Please do not pick them up. Try to leave a bright marker or piece of tape by the object. Call your coordinator and they will arrange for WSDOT crews to pick up the object(s).

How do we report a pick up?

Your WSDOT contact will send you an activity report for you to mail in after each pick up or you can use the  Online Activity Report. This is important because WSDOT needs to keep track of how often groups are picking up litter. It also allows WSDOT to maintain insurance coverage for our volunteers.

How do we pick a name for our group?

The signs are intended to recognize you or your group, not your message. Many groups simply have the name of their family or organization. You can choose to have “in memory of” a loved one. Two lane highways have signs with space for up to three lines of text with 13 characters per line. Interstates/multi-lane highways have signs with space for up to three lines of text with 20 characters per line.

My group wants our logo on the highway sign.  How can we have this done?

Groups with volunteer agreements cannot have a logo put on the highway sign. Groups with sponsored agreements for a third party to clean up can have a logo on their sign. These groups are required to pay WSDOT-approved contractors for the litter pickup and disposal of filled bags. WSDOT charges a fee to the sponsor group for the highway sign, which the group can place a logo on. 

Learn about sponsorships

If my business wants to hire a contractor to pick, how much would it cost?

It depends on several things, such as the cost the contractor charges to pick up litter and dispose of it. In addition, WSDOT charges a fee of $300-$900 for the placement of a highway sign - depending on the section of highway.