Bill Lee

Tennessee Department of Transportation officials announced the resumption of Adopt-A-Highway cleanups that started Oct. 11 statewide.

Cleanups were paused since March due to the spread of COVID-19, and the program resumed with extra procedures in place meant to keep volunteers safe.

Extra procedures include:

• all volunteers must submit a new liability waiver which includes COVID-specific language.

• facemasks must be worn at all times on TDOT rights-of-way.

• all volunteers will be given their own personal safety vest to wash and reuse.

• no more than 10 volunteers are allowed to participate in a single cleanup event.

• volunteers must notify local TDOT staff of a cleanup event at least five days in advance.

“The work our Adopt-A-Highway volunteers do is an invaluable part of our efforts to remove litter from our highways,” said TDOT Commissioner Clay Bright. “These new procedures will allow those operations to resume in a safe manner.”

Adopt-A-Highway is a free program for the public to volunteer to clean up a two-mile stretch of local state highway. Cleanups are conducted quarterly and reported to TDOT. Local department staff provides safety equipment, trash grabbers and bags. For the effort, TDOT installs free roadside recognition panels along every adopted area, naming the adoptive individual, group, or organization. For help getting started, program resources are available electronically on the TDOT website.

TDOT’s Adopt-A-Highway program began statewide Oct. 11, 1989 as a means for people, community groups and civic organizations to clean up their community and receive roadside recognition. The completely free program has grown in time, removing more than 12 million pounds of litter from Tennessee roadsides. Currently, more than 550 miles of roadside across the state were adopted.

For more information about TDOT’s Adopt-A-Highway program, visit

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