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Adopt-A-Highway is a public service program that utilizes volunteer teams to pick-up litter along our roadways.

E-mail us at:

Safety Video:

Each volunteer team "adopts" a two mile section of highway and removes litter at least once a month between April 15th and November 15th.

In recognition of the volunteer efforts, MassDOT installs a sign recognizing the adopting group for their contribution toward keeping Massachusetts clean.

In 1992, the first thirteen groups took to the highways and made their mark on the Massachusetts landscape.

The program provides an opportunity for environmentally conscious groups and corporations to participate in keeping Massachusetts roads litter-free.

The program kicks off each year in conjunction with Earth Day activities and continues through mid-November.

Groups or corporations interested in learning more about the available programs should contact:


All participants are required to attend a safety training session and view a safety video prior to participation. The safety training session is administered by the group's adult supervisor using the Department's training video for safe litter pickup and the Department's safety bulletin.


  • at least 11 years old
  • mentally alert; have good common sense; and be responsible
  • in good physical condition, including sight and hearing


  • have one adult supervisor for every four participants under the age of 15 and one adult supervisor for every six participants between the ages of 15-17
  • have at least 6 members
  • attend a safety training session, administered by the group's adult supervisor, so that all participants watch and study MassDOT's training video on safe litter pickup and demonstrate their understanding of the Department's safety bulletins entitled "Litter Pickup Requires Precautions" and "Safety Guidelines"


  • install a sign identifying the adopting group in recognition of their contribution
  • require volunteer groups who are a profit making enterprise to provide the signs and supports
  • provide specifications and names of approved sign fabricators



  • group leader must schedule each litter pick-up 48 hours in advance with the maintenance supervisor to insure work zone safety
  • group leader must notify maintenance supervisor when work is complete and the number of bags to be picked up
  • go over safety guidelines before every litter pickup
  • provide parental consent forms for any/all participants under the age of 18
  • park all vehicles on the same side of the highway that the crews are working
  • park off roadway and at least ten feet from the shoulder's surface where possible
  • face oncoming traffic; stay alert and be prepared to move in case of an emergency
  • work only during daylight hours and in good weather conditions
  • avoid exhaustion; Drink plenty of water
  • watch your footing; avoid holes or other obstacles; stay off steep slopes
  • bring along an adequate first aid kit; identify the nearest hospital and know how to get there in an emergency


  • DO NOT cross traveled section roadway
  • DO NOT attempt to pick up items on bridges, tunnels, medians, or on overpasses
  • DO NOT enter the roadway or its shoulder area, paved or unpaved to pick up litter
  • DO NOT work during inclement weather, especially in times of reduced visibility and wet/icy roads
  • DO NOT attempt to remove heavy, large or hazardous materials - notify your maintenance supervisor immediately
  • DO NOT touch dead animals - notify your maintenance supervisor immediately
  • DO NOT pick up discarded syringes or hypodermic needles - notify your maintenance supervisor immediately
  • DO NOT purposely distract drivers


  • safety vests must be worn at all times
  • light colored clothing (long sleeves recommended)
  • protective shoes or boots
  • gloves
  • beware of the sun; wear a hat and use sunscreen
  • use of headsets will not be allowed; these impede danger/warning alerts
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