Indiana holds ‘Trash Bash’ to clean up its highways

Warmer weather means it’s time for spring cleaning in Indiana and the state’s highways are no exception. The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT), the Indiana Department of Correction (DOC) and Adopt-A-Highway groups will kick off a statewide effort to clean up Indiana’s highways during Trash Bash from April 2-24.

Each year, hundreds of tons of trash are collected along the state highways. In 2010, 11,083 bags of trash and 79.5 tons of loose debris were collected from state highways and right-of-ways. A total of 621 Adopt-A-Highway volunteer groups logged 14,975 hours in this effort along with additional hours from INDOT staff and DOC forces.

“We’re excited to partner with many community organizations to keep the roads clean,” said Mike McPhillips, INDOT LaPorte District Deputy Commissioner. “Please show these Adopt-A-Highway volunteers appreciation by driving carefully when you see them at work.”

Research by Keep America Beautiful, Inc. found that people litter because they feel no sense of ownership, even through their taxes pay for the upkeep of roads and parks. Many also said they litter because they believe it is someone else’s job to pick it up or litter has already accumulated.

People can help clean up and prevent litter on Indiana’s highways by following these tips:

  • Don’t litter: Set a good example for everyone, especially children.
  • Be responsible: Carry a trash bag in your car instead of tossing trash out the window.
  • Report it: report areas where people have illegally dumped garbage.
  • Adopt it: If you are involved in a civic group, scouting organization or sports program, encourage the groups to adopt a highway. Visit for details or contact the LaPorte District toll free at 1-855-GO-INDOT.