One of the most critical ways to keep our storm water run off free of pollutants and debris is to adopt a highway. The State DOT Adopt-A-Highway program is a public service program that allows volunteers from any organization to pick up litter along Hawaii’s state highways. This is your chance to make a personal contribution to a cleaner Hawaii! The DOT can help your community group, church or businesses adopt a highway and provides all safety materials, trash bags, schedule trash pick-ups and even erect a highway sign to recognize your group’s cleaning efforts.
Adopt-A-Highway groups agree to:
- Adopt a two-mile portion of state highway for a minimum of two years.
- Pick up litter on that highway at least four times a year.
- Provide safety training for their volunteers before each cleanup.
To find out the most up-to-date information on adopting a state highway, contact your Adopt-A-Highway district office at (808) 483-7296 (Oahu only).
The Adopt-A-Highway Champions program highlights various volunteers and organizations who have committed to keeping their adopted highway clean.
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About the Adopt-A-Highway Program
Why You Should Help
Litter is unsightly. It destroys the natural beauty of Hawaii’s highways.
Litter affects our ocean environment both directly and indirectly. Direct impacts occur when marine life is physically harmed by marine debris through ingestion or entanglement. Indirect impacts occur when the clean up of the marine debris results in ecological changes.
Clean highways help lead to beautiful beaches that welcome visitors and show that we care about our community and our environment.
The HDOT will help you select a section of highway to adopt.
Your group’s representative will sign an agreement form on behalf of your entire group.
All participants must be a minimum of 12 years old. Participants 17 years old or younger must have adult supervision, and those under 18 must have a signed parental release form. There must be two adults per 10 participants present at all times for groups with participants under 18.
Groups shall submit the Request for Rubbish Bag Removal Form two days after clean up event.
Groups shall leave filled trash bags along roadside and provide a location description in the Request for Rubbish Bag Removal Form.
How We Help You
Erect a highway sign to recognize your group’s cleaning efforts.
Provide high-visibility safety vests, trash bags, gloves and safety information.
Remove the filled bags from the roadsides and remove heavy or hazardous items.
Adopt-A-Highway: The Safe Way
- Be in good physical condition, including good eyesight and hearing.
- Be mentally alert.
- Be responsible for their own safety and the safety of their crew.
- Be at least 12 years old. Groups under 18 must have two adults per ten volunteers present at all times.
For Your Safety:
- Knives, machetes, axes and similar objects should not be carried by crew members.
- Don’t attempt to compact trash sacks to make room for more. Injuries from broken or jagged objects often result from this practice. Fill the sack with what goes in easily, then get another bag.
- Park all vehicles well clear of the road way and at least ten feet from the shoulder’s surface.
- Keep vehicles on the same side of the highway as the volunteers.
- Work one side of the highway at a time.
- Carpool to the clean up site to reduce the number of vehicles on the road.
Protect Yourself and Others:
- Conduct a refresher session on safety awareness each time a crew goes out.
- Whenever possible, face oncoming traffic while you work. Be prepared to move out of the way of vehicles in an emergency.
- Don’t work in bad weather.
- Work during daylight hours only.
- Avoid overexertion. Drink plenty of water.
- Do not cross traveled sections of roadway.
- Avoid using headsets: they could interfere with your ability to hear oncoming traffic or warnings.
What You Should Wear
- Your Adopt-A-Highway t-shirts or safety vests.
- Covered shoes (no slippers!)
- Gloves (strongly recommended)
- A hat, sunglasses and sunscreen
- Adopt-A-Highway Agreement Form: To adopt a section of state highway for cleaning, fill out this Agreement Form and send to the appropriate individual. Be sure to read the terms and conditions for both the applicant and HDOT Highways.
- Adopt-A-Highway Parental Release Form: This form ensures that any minor who volunteers in an Adopt-A-Highway cleaning event has participated in a roadside safety meeting. The applicant’s signature of this form also releases HDOT Highways from any liability in case of injury or damages which occur on or near HDOT Highways’ rights-of-way.
- Adopt-A-Highway Supply Request Form: To request trash bags, gloves, and safety vests needed for a cleanup event, fill out this form and send to the appropriate individual. Don’t forget to include the cleanup date as well as the number of volunteers.
- Adopt-A-Highway Trash Removal Form: To request the removal of rubbish collected during an Adopt-A-Highway cleaning event, fill out this form and send to the appropriate individual within two business days of cleanup. Be sure to include any hazardous materials, bulk items or dead animals.
- Adopt-A-Highway Renewal Agreement Form: To renew an Adopt-A-Highway agreement between your group and HDOT Highways, fill out this form and send to the appropriate individual.