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The Adopt-A-Highway (AAH) program began in a Texas Department of Transportation field division in 1985. This unique grassroots program spread to adjacent state Departments of Transportation, and Oklahoma began the program as part of an anti-litter campaign in 1987. By 1992, 48 states had developed their own AAH programs. The concept has even spread across the globe; New Zealand, Australia, Japan and six provinces of Canada now also have programs.

Every two years, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) prepares a national and international AAH survey. For more information about the 1999 AAH Survey, national coordinators or Oklahoma's AAH program, contact the ODOT Beautification Office, (405)521-4037.

Highlights from the 1999 National Survey

  • 962,502 volunteers are picking up litter in 48 states
  • The annual cost of picking up roadside litter totaled $106,833,568 for the 33 states reporting.
  • 27 states have an annual Trash-off event
  • 43 states allow volunteers to recycle
  • 26 states allow inmate "volunteers"
  • 88,919 AAH groups are in the United States.
  • 206,564 highway miles have been adopted in the United States.

Highlights from the 1999 International Survey

  • Chihuahua, Mexico; New Zealand and seven Canadian provinces replied to the survey
  • 1,790 groups belong to international AAH programs
  • 13,256 volunteers are participating in international AAH programs
  • Eight of the respondents do not have an annual Trash-Off

State Adopt-A-Highway Programs

Forty-eight states currently have adopt-a-highway programs and many states also use adopt-a-stream, adopt-a-beach and others to help beautify the areas around them. To receive a list of state adopt-a-highway coodinators, please contact the Beautification Office (405)521-4037. Also, many state departments of transportation have information about their programs on the Internet.

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