Adopt-A-Highway Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the Adopt-A-Highway Program?

    A. It is a program of litter awareness where volunteers agree to adopt a 2 mile section of state highway for a period of two years and conduct litter removal activities on that section. You can apply to adopt any state roadway with a speed limit of 35 mph or less.

Q. Who can participate?

    A. Any group, business, organization, family, or even individuals can qualify to Adopt-A-Highway.

Q. Can a child or teenager participate in Adopt-A-Highway?

    For groups, all members must be at least 11 years old and must be supervised by an adult. Special considerations are given for members under 11 years of age who are part of an established group with trained adults (e.g. Scouts) or when one adult is present for every child.

Q. What if the section of highway I want to adopt is taken?

    A. Should there be more than one request for a section of highway, applicants will be placed on a waiting list.

Q. How often do you have to pick up litter?

    A. Four litter pickups per year are required but groups can choose to do it as often as they wish. Please submit a Clean-up Report Card each time you do a cleanup and add your ID number so your group gets credit for the cleanup. Your adoption may be rescinded due to a lack of participation at any time during the contract.

Q. What equipment is needed?

    A. RIDOT furnishes all the supplies needed to perform a litter pickup; safety vests, work gloves & trash bags. These can be obtained at RIDOT's Maintenance Headquarters at 360 Lincoln Avenue in Warwick. Other RIDOT Maintenance facilities do not have the supplies. Please contact the Central Stockroom at 401-734-4867 for more information.

Q. Who disposes of the trash?

    A. Groups leave the bagged trash on the adopted section of highway. Just contact the Maintenance Facility and arrange pickup. A DOT crew will pick up the bagged trash. You can leave the Warning Signs and other supplies neatly piled under the trash bags so they can be taken back to the Facility.

Q. Do groups have to recycle?

    A. Groups are encouraged to recycle, if they wish. Recyclables are to be taken away by the groups.

Q. Does RIDOT provide insurance for the groups?

    A. No, each group must sign a release before entering the program.

Q. Can a group adopt a county or local road?

    A. Only state roadways will be considered for adoption under the Rhode Island Adopt-A-Highway Volunteer Program. All the interstate highways can be Sponsored under the Sponsor-A-Highway program.

Q. Does the program cost anything?

    A. The program is no cost to the volunteers. RIDOT supplies volunteer groups with all supplies they will need for cleanup. The Adopt-A-Highway sign is free to non-profit groups, unless they want a larger sign then a small fee is charged to cover the cost. Business groups are responsible for total cost of their Adopt-A-Highway sign.

Q. Who supplies the Adopt-A-Highway recognition signs?

    A. RIDOT will erect up to two Adopt-A-Highway signs on each two-mile segment of adopted section of highway, recognizing the adopting group.

Q. What safety devices does RIDOT provide?

    A. In addition to safety vests, RIDOT will provide one "Adopt-A-Highway Cleanup Crew" sign, work gloves, orange bags, and a safety video. The group places and removes the "Adopt-A-Highway Cleanup Crew" sign at the beginning and end of each pickup. Also, the Rhode Island State Police can be contacted at 444-1000 to inform them of a litter cleanup date and location to request a patrol car ride the stretch of roadway to aid in slowing the speed of the traffic. Supplies can be obtained from Maintenance Facilities throughout the state.

Q. What do groups do with the trash items they cannot pick up?

    A. (Tires, animal carcasses, etc.) Notify the Maintenance Facility within the area, who will in turn send a RIDOT employee to remove these items. Tires should be placed with the collected trash bags. (See Maintenance Facilities on this website for locations and phone numbers.)

Q. What is an Adopt-A-Highway Clean-up Report Card?

    A. It is a form card to be completed by the group leader after each litter pickup to report activity. It can also be used to report unusual occurrences or suggestions for the program. An on line Clean-up Report Card can also be found on this website (see Clean-up Report).

Q. Is the Adopt-A-Highway Clean-up Report Card used as a tracking method?

    A. Yes it is now being used to ensure that the Adopted groups are fulfilling their obligation to clean up at least four times per year, as described in the Adopt-A-Highway Guidelines and Conditions. That is why it is very important to e-mail or carrier mail the Clean-up Report card to the Department. At the end of this year the Department intends to take down all the Adopt-A-Highway signs throughout the state of the groups that have not fulfilled this obligation.

Need Help?

Feel free to contact us!
Steven Cascione
Programming Services Officer
(401) 734-4803