Illinois Adopt-A-Highway Program
The Illinois Adopt-A-Highway (AAH) programs brings citizen volunteers into partnerships with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) to pick up trash and keep our roadsides clean. The program also educates and encourages people to stop littering. Through the cleanup efforts of more than
Adopt-A-Highway volunteers throughout Illinois, visitors and tourists have a better first impression of our state.
The Illinois Adopt-A-Highway program began in 1995, and today nearly 1,700 volunteer groups have adopted 3,400 miles of highway. Each year these groups collect 32,000 bags of trash from state highways.
Even with this tremendous effort, Illinois still spends more than $12.5 million each year on litter pick up. Illinois has the third largest road system in the nation with more than 139,000 miles of state, county, municipal and township roads. The state highway system is made up of nearly 17,000 miles.
We need your help to keep Illinois' roadsides clean. Please consider adding your group of friends, neighbors, coworkers or club members to our list of volunteers who make a positive impact on the area where they live.
Please review the information below on how to adopt a highway near your home or your workplace. Your regional coordinator can be located by clicking on Contact Us.
About the Program
Each volunteer is assigned a two-mile section of highway. When your group applies to IDOT, you may choose the section of highway to adopt as long as it has not been selected by another group. Volunteer groups agree to remove litter from their section of highway at least four times each year for a two-year period.
In return for this partnership, IDOT will provide roadside signs identifying your group as an Illinois Adopt-A-Highway program participant (IDOT reserves the right to approve all messages on the signs). IDOT provides safety vests and trash bags to volunteers and removes the filled bags for the roadside following a pickup day.
How to Get Started
Who is Eligible
Just about anyone can take part…here are some examples:
- Groups of up to 10
- Civic groups
- Participants at least 10 years of age
What Happens Next
- Once your request is received, a safety inspection will be conducted on your requested section of highway.
- If approved, you will receive a copy of your form with your permit number identifying your AAH location.
- You will receive a packet containing IDOT contact information and a safety video that must be viewed by everyone in your group.
- IDOT will place an AAH sign identifying your group on your section of highway.
- IDOT will provide your group with safety vests and trash bags.
- Following your pickup, IDOT will remove your filled bags.
- Your permit will expire March 31 of the second year following the issue date.