Watch for Adopt-A-Highway crews on Wisconsin roadsides

Volunteers remove tons of trash and recyclables each year

Release date: April 10, 2024

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) is reminding drivers to stay alert and give space to Adopt-A-Highway volunteers, who routinely collect trash and recyclables along state highways.

“Each year, Wisconsinites generously take time out of their schedules to pick up trash and recyclables along the roadside,” WisDOT Secretary Craig Thompson said. “Last year, we saw a phenomenal increase in participation in the Adopt-A-Highway program as nearly 15,000 volunteers helped clean Wisconsin roadsides. We are grateful for their commitment and pride to keep our state beautiful, yet we still urge all drivers to properly dispose of trash.”

In 2023, Wisconsin Adopt-A-Highway groups collected 180 tons of trash and recyclables. Nearly 15,000 volunteers helped pick up trash last year, which is a significant increase from 11,000 volunteers in 2022. WisDOT encourages more people to get involved. Our interactive map shows highway segments maintained by Wisconsin's 3,000 Adopt-A-Highway groups, but more than 2,300 miles of state highway are still available for adoption.

Adopt-A-Highway workers are asked to clean up their assigned two-mile state highway segment at least three times per year. County highway crews gather the bagged materials for proper disposal. Automated forms on the Adopt-A-Highway website streamline reporting cleanup efforts. As part of the program, WisDOT furnishes safety vests, highway worker signs, a safety training video, trash bags, and two permanent signs identifying the group. Each group must provide one adult supervisor for every five or six volunteers. Groups do not work in dangerous areas like medians, bridges or steep slopes.

WisDOT reminds drivers to buckle up, put the phone down and follow speed limits on Wisconsin highways, especially when these volunteer groups are working along the roadside.

Learn more at and watch a video about the Adopt-A-Highway program.

For more information, contact:

WisDOT Office of Public Affairs
(608) 266-3581,