AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals Adopt-A-Highway crews have their work cut out for them. Some 10 million pounds of trash is cleaned from state freeways and highways each year – about 25 percent of that from these workers. In the Los Angeles area, 37,000 cubic yards – enough to fill the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Coliseum – is collected annually. Local businesses have adopted four of six stretches along Interstate 5 in Santa Clarita. On the Antelope Valley Freeway, the only local area adopted by a nonprofit organization – the Santa Clarita Valley Rotary Club – is the stretch between Placerita Canyon Road and Via Princessa in both directions. Two other areas are sponsored by businesses and one is available. All four areas along State Route 126 are available. The quieter areas are the tough sells, said Ed Siribohdi, senior landscape architect for Caltrans. “In business areas, the program is very popular, but along the nonbusiness area, we need more adoptions.” Sponsors are rewarded with blue signs announcing their service along the stretch of highway they have adopted. Businesses frequently hire contractors to perform the cleanup services, but more than 2,412 sites throughout the state are serviced by volunteers. The local Rotary Club’s efforts are headed by Tom Threw, who gets out on the freeway on a regular basis to scoop up roadside trash. The club has been cleaning up for more than three years with help from 10 volunteers from the Bible Tabernacle Church in Canyon Country. Rotarian Mary Ann Colf called the job “disgusting,” but completed the task with her fellow members as a public service. “Picking up trash on the freeway is not fun.” Siribohdi said some areas of roadway get hit particularly hard by trash. “Areas close to dumps and landfills get a double dose of litter, as items bounce out of trucks,” Siribohdi said. “There is a $1,000 fine for littering, but you have to catch them doing it. Enforcement is a problem.” He added that there’s nothing too outlandish to be thrown out a car window or dumped from a truck. “You’d be amazed at what we’ve found. Beer cans, bottles, fast-food containers, all kinds of stuff. Money. A full-size fiberglass spa, a dishwasher, couch, highchair, baby stroller. You name it, if it exists, it can end up on the freeway.” For information on the Adopt-A-Highway program, call (866) ADOPTAHWY or visit www.adopt-a-highway.dot.ca.gov. Carol Rock, (661) 257-5252 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SANTA CLARITA – Seven littered stretches of Santa Clarita Valley’s highways are in need of sponsors from the state’s Adopt-A-Highway cleanup program, once popular but now declining. Involvement by businesses and nonprofit groups has dwindled for several reasons, primarily safety, said Terri Porter, coordinator for the state Department of Transportation program. “Over the last two years, we’ve performed site-safety reviews. A lot of areas where we had people working were reconsidered because the freeways had been widened or soundwalls installed that left no escape route for the workers,” Porter said. The minimum age for these volunteer work crews also has changed from 11 to 16 and even 18 in some areas, eliminating more than 100 Scout troops and some high school groups from participating.
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