Adopt-A-Road is a successful program that encourages waste reduction in southern Indiana. The goal is to obtain volunteers who will adopt at least one mile of a road. Individuals then commit to pick up litter along the road four times a year for two years. They receive safety training and the District Office arranges to have the trash picked up. At the beginning and end of the adopted area, an "Adopt-A-Road" sign with the family name or business name is posted. There are no financial costs involved in the Adopt-A-Road program for the volunteers. Trash bags, safety vests, gloves and "Road Work Ahead" signs are provided free of charge for the clean-up crew by the city. A clean-up crew must consist of responsible individuals. Children who are 12 to 16 years of age must be properly supervised and those under 12 are not allowed at the clean-up site, for safety reasons., The clean-up crew consists of two different groups: the recycling team and the clean-up team. The recycling team walks over the area before the clean up team and uses clear bags to pick up recyclable glass, metal, plastic and bottles. The clean-up team follows behind and uses solid colored bags to pick up the remaining garbage.
The Adopt-A-Road program has grown substantially. In 1996 the Bloomington area had eight groups with 11 cleanups, while in 2000, there were a total of 54 groups and 59 cleanups. The Environmental Compliance Department and the City of Bloomington collected both the litter and the recyclable material that was gathered by the volunteers. Garbage collected by the City of Bloomington is not included in the following figures. In 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2000 they collected 33 tons, 13 tons, 1 ton, 11 tons, 22 tons, 22 tons, and 23 tons, respectively. The Environmental Compliance Department also works in coordination with Community Corrections and the Indiana Department of Transportation and removes trash collected by members of those institutions as well.
Prepared by: Michelle Langley and Jennifer Parker