It costs the Missouri Department of Transportation $6.4 million to pick up litter from the 385,000 acres along 34,000 miles of Missouri state highways. Which is one reason April is Missouri's "No MOre Trash! Bash".

April is the month of spring cleaning. People are cleaning their houses. Beautifying the property around their homes. And Cities like Knob Noster and Warresnburg are getting ready to help residents get rid of those big bulky items during spring clean up weeks. So it makes sense that April is the month MoDOT uses to highlight the problem of litter along our roadways, and how you and I can help keep Missouri's roads a little cleaner.

If you think Missouri's roadways have been a little trashier this year, you're right. COVID-19 made it more difficult for MoDOT to use their 240 work release prisoners to help clean up the roads. Not to mention last year's "No MOre Trash! Bash" was scuttled out of safety concerns.

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This year, "No MOre Trash! Bash" is back on. And throughout April there will virtual events held with Adopt-A-Highway volunteers, students and community groups interested in participating in roadside trash pickup service opportunities.

One of the easiest ways to help is to get your family, your friends, or your co-workers together to adopt a stretch of roadway in Missouri's Adopt-A-Highway program. Adopters can choose to clean up litter, engage in landscape beautification, mow the grass or plant and grow plants native to Missouri.

Groups that commit to the Adopt-A-Highway program are asked to pick up litter a minimum of four times a year in rural areas, and a minimum of once a month is urban areas. MoDOT asks for a three year commitment and provides the organizers with garbage bags, safety vests, caution flags, a safety video, safety brochures and tips for working along roadsides.

MoDOT will recognize your group with Adopt-A-Highway signs on each end of the section of highway you're maintaining and will recognize your group "with a resolution of appreciation for outstanding work performed for the State of Missouri and for all those who travel its highways."

It's free to join Missouri's Adopt-A-Highway program and you can learn more about on the Missouri Department of Transportation's website here. Volunteers perform about $1 million a year in litter cleanup and beautification efforts.

Of course, it doesn't take adopting a stretch of highway to keep Missouri's roads clean. Just don't litter.

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