Tompkins County Highway Department began its Adopt-A-Highway Program in 1992. The Program was initiated to provide for litter pick-up along County roadsides, and for the opportunity for roadside beautification by volunteer organizations.
Downsizing and other priorities have made it nearly impossible for full-time highway staff to collect roadside litter as part of spring cleanup or general roadside maintenance. Volunteer organizations are able to provide a service to the public that otherwise could not be provided by highway staff. Through their efforts, volunteer groups are able to demonstrate community service and esprit de corps.
The Program has been a clear success, with current participation by over 50 groups (with more usually in the process of "adopting") from around the County. These groups currently collect the litter from almost 90 miles of County Roads. Roadsides are less littered, and removal of objects along the roadside provides both a safer and cleaner environment for motorists, bikers, and pedestrians alike.
Over 155 bags, plus tires and miscellaneous trash were collected through the Program in 2019!! In addition, several groups recycle* the litter and/or dispose of it themselves. Thank you to all who participate!
* Recycling is encouraged.