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Caltrans Cleans Roadways Ahead of Coastal Cleanup Day

Date: September 15, 2017
District: District 5
Contact: Jim Shivers or Colin Jones
Phone: (805) 549-3237 or (805) 549-3189


SACRAMENTO — Caltrans maintenance staff will once again clean up litter around bridges, roadways, and underpasses to support California Coastal Cleanup Day on Saturday, September 16.

During last year's Coastal Cleanup Day efforts, Caltrans crews collected 3,200 cubic yards of litter, enough to fill nearly 200 garbage trucks, and swept 1,400 shoulder miles of roadway. Help also came from California's Adopt-A-Highway program volunteers, with more than 200 groups collecting over 24,000 pounds of trash.

"Litter has a negative impact on our state in many ways. It's more than an aesthetic issue, it also costs taxpayers millions of dollars in cleanup costs per year. California's environment especially suffers due to roadside litter and debris washing into our storm drains and ultimately polluting our waterways."

Malcolm Dougherty, Director, Caltrans

Caltrans District 5 will have the Santa Barbara, Santa Maria and San Luis Obispo crews clean-up areas in Carpinteria, Santa Barbara, Buellton, Santa Maria, Cuyama, Nipomo, Arroyo Grande, Pismo Beach and San Luis Obispo.

Caltrans has more than 12,000 structures and bridges above or alongside inland waterways and along the coast. Last year's Coastal Cleanup Day activities helped collect more than 700,000 pounds of trash and recyclables in 2016, with over 59,000 volunteers participating statewide.

According to the California Coastal Commission, 70 percent of ocean debris can be linked to land-based sources. Cigarette butts and food wrappers represent most of the litter collected.

The California Coastal Commission offers these tips to individuals to help reduce litter:

  • Dispose of all litter and cigarette butts properly.
  • Keep storm drains clean – they drain to waterways and the ocean.
  • Reduce, reuse, and recycle (in that order) at home, work and school.
  • Buy reusable products and products made from recycled materials with little or no packaging.
  • Participate in Adopt-A-Highway and Adopt-A-Beach programs.

The first California Coastal Cleanup Day was in 1985, with nearly 2,500 Californians participating.To date, over 1 million volunteers have removed more than 22 million pounds of debris from our state's beaches, lakes, and waterways. More information is available at

The Adopt-A-Highway program, which began in 1989, has been one of the truly successful government-public partnerships of our time. More than 120,000 Californians have cleaned and enhanced over 15,000 shoulder-miles of roadside. For more information on the Adopt-A-Highway program, call 1-866-236-7824 or visit

For more information on the Adopt-A-Beach program, call 1-800-COAST-4U or email "Protect Every Drop" is a Caltrans Stormwater Public Education Campaign. By reducing stormwater pollution in and around more than 50,000 lane miles of the highway system, water that discharges into major watersheds in the state will carry less pollutants and reduce the impact to our precious waterways. For more information, visit

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