Adopt-a-Highway is Good for Tourism Business

The look and feel of your property is very important to any industry. The way your property and surrounding town looks is even more important to those in the architectural, tourism, and hospitality industries. No one likes to drive into a town or a business with trash on the roadside and on lawns. Litter can kill a region’s tourism industry. It makes people feel:



  • Unsafe.

  • The town doesn’t care.

  • The businesses don’t want their business and won’t treat them fairly.

  • They should leave as soon as possible. 

These are feelings you obviously do not want to advertise about your town or your business. That is why it is so important to not only keep your property grounds clean and well maintained, you also need to keep litter from collecting on and near your property. The way your town looks will also greatly affect your property and your business. You can boost the appearance of your town and benefit tourism business by taking part in the Adopt-a-Highway program.


Benefit From a Clean Highway


This 40th Earth Day, April 22, 2010 is a great time to increase the value of your property and help the environment at the same time. Now is the time to pick up that trash and spruce up the neighborhood. The best way to do this is to create an Adopt-a-Highway project of your own. This will greatly help the environment of your local community and it will help you to market your business. With state budgets getting more and more limited, litter removal will be dropped by more and more towns. Volunteer and sponsored highway litter cleanup is becoming ever more important. 


Adopt-a-Highway Will Benefit Your Business By:



  • Giving your street and town a clean and inviting appearance. Providing a free sign advertising your business on your adopted street.

  • Offering great free PR in papers by the state about your new adoption.

  • Giving you a chance to boost your own PR on your website, in papers, and local websites promoting your care for the environment and the local community.

  • Increasing your networking and PR with local businesses and potential customers in the town to set up and run an Adopt-a-Highway program.

Sign Me Up for an Adopt-a-Highway Program


First, every state and county is different with regards to who can pick up litter due to safety laws. Some states and counties only allow sponsorship of a highway or interstate and may allow volunteers to do county and smaller roads. Volunteers must get permits and learn the proper safety before cleaning up any roads.


Sponsor an Adopt-A-Highway Program


If a road is sponsor only, the state will hire a state-approved professional litter clean-up crew for you, such as Adopt-a-Highway Litter Removal Service of America, Inc. Ask for Michele W. for pricing and more information.


Sorry, you can’t choose which company does the removal. You will pay a monthly sponsorship to the state. The state makes NO money on this, and the company will clean the road every month or as often as every week. Yes, every week! Now you know why it is so important to pick up litter and sponsor litter removal programs.


Volunteer to Adopt a Highway


What must adopters do? This varies by state. Generally, highway adopters are asked to commit to picking up litter along the designated section of state highway, which is usually two miles long, at least four times a year for two years. Adopters may mow the roadside or plant flowers and other DOT-approved vegetation. Adopters may also keep the proceeds they earn from any recyclable trash. 


What Will Your State Do?



  • Provide safety equipment and training

  • Provide signage

  • Pick up bags of litter collected

  • Notify all papers of your adoption 

Should I Adopt or Sponsor


Whether or not your business or organization volunteers to pick up the trash, or sponsors the busier roads, you will still benefit. Weigh your options before you choose:


Volunteer Pros:



  • No cost

  • Free outdoor sign posted on highway advertising your business

  • Free PR by the state

  • Great for getting supporters to help you

  • Helps the environment

  • Pick up smaller highways closer to your business

  • Choose roads that really need cleaning that directly affect your business

  • Roads need cleaning less often

Sponsorship Pros:



  • Free outdoor sign posted on highway advertising your business

  • Free PR by the state

  • Helps the environment

  • No safety issues

  • No time involved

  • Your sign is located on a busier highway

  • Helps clean up much more trash

I am an Individual or Small Business


If you feel adopting a highway on your own is too much to handle, here are some ways you can still clean up your town:



  • Get volunteers to help with your own tourism business’s Adopt-a-Highway program (This is great for PR and for networking)

  • See if there are any current organization-run Adopt-a-Highway programs already happening that you can help:

    • Church Group

    • Trade Organizations

    • Community Organizations

    • County Tourism Offices

    • County, City, Town Chamber of Commerce

    • Local VFW, Lions Club, Knights of Columbus, Toastmasters, etc.

  • See if you can expand your organization’s existing Adopt-a-Highway program to adopt a road near your business.

  • If your organization doesn’t have an Adopt-a-Highway program then start one with them.

Contact Your State or County Government Now to Adopt-a-Highway Near You


According to my research these are your options:


New York State


New York State allows some highways, State Routes, and County roads to be picked up by volunteers and some highways, mostly interstates and some state routes, must be done by sponsorship only. To learn more about what NYS does:


Interstate and state roads: New York State DOT


Orange County State Routes: State DOT for Orange County


For Orange County Roads: Orange County Department of Works


For town roads contact your town.


New Jersey State


New Jersey State only allows sponsorship of interstate, state and most county highways.


Due to expired links other than the New Jersey State Government Website, I could not find an official New Jersey Adopt-a-Highway website. (Hint: make sure your past web pages and links are forwarded to new web pages.) If you know of the NJ Adopt-a-Highway website, please let me know in the comments.


Connecticut State


Connecticut State has both volunteer and sponsorship. Connecticut Adopt-a-Highway Program Scroll to the bottom when you get there.


Pennsylvania State


Pennsylvania State has both volunteer and sponsorship. Pennsylvania State Government Website. You can do a search on their website. PA did not have a direct link to the Adopt-a-Highway program due to frames on their website. (Hint: never use frames on your website.)


Promote Your Efforts


Don’t forget, whichever way you go, make sure you let the public know you are helping the environment. Post on everything you do that you participate in Adopt-a-Highway programs. Post a photo of your company’s Adopt-a-Highway sign on your website. Post photos of the events and send out a press release to all media and social media. Post your yearly Adopt-a-Highway event dates below in the comments.


Just because you are helping the environment doesn’t mean you can’t profit from it. Just make sure you actually do the work necessary to pick up the litter. You don’t want your town and your business to suffer from unsightly litter on the ground. I hope to see you out there.