Illinois Department of Transportation, Erica Borggren, Acting Secretary
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASECONTACT: 217-782-6953
APRIL 16, 2002TTY: 217-524-4875

SPRINGFIELD, ILL. -- Adopt-A-Highway for a day! The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) announced today a statewide litter pick-up day will be held Saturday, April 20. More than 1,400 Adopt-A-Highway (AAH) groups are being invited to participate in this semi-annual statewide event, and motorists are being asked to stay alert.

Litter is a huge problem in Illinois. IDOT picks up more than 130,000 bags of trash from the highway each year--enough bags to cover more than 9 football fields. The expense to collect and get rid of the litter costs Illinois taxpayers more than $10.5 million annually.

Adopt-A-Highway groups have adopted more than 2,800 miles of highway in Illinois. In order to cover more miles, IDOT is inviting the public to participate in this litter pick-up day.

"Even though we have many dedicated volunteers who regularly pick up litter from their adopted sections of roadway, there are still areas in need of being cleaned," said Transportation Secretary Kirk Brown. "We are inviting the public to choose an unadopted section of highway, contact their area Adopt-A-Highway coordinator to let them know where they will be, and then go out on Saturday, April 20 and clean up the roadsides."

The Department will provide bags for the litter and will send maintenance crews to collect the bags from pre-designated areas after the pick up. A few important rules to remember include no interstate pick up, wear heavy gloves and boots or sturdy shoes, and don’t pick up anything gross or dangerous. Do not go out without first contacting the area coordinator.

"We are urging motorists to be especially careful of these volunteers," Brown stated. "They are doing a great service for Illinois, and we ask that you slow down if you see anyone on the sides of the roadways on April 20."

Please check this list of the coordinators and the counties they cover. Any general questions, please call the AAH state coordinator, Barb Welk at 217-782-6953.

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