ODOT encourages volunteers to pick up trash along highways by dedicating remembrance sign

Ohio Department of Transportation in need of volunteers to pick up trash

The Ohio Department of Transportation's Adopt a Highway program has picked up over 225,000 bags of trash in the last 10 years.

Press secretary for ODOT, Matt Bruning, said people can volunteer to pick up trash four times a year during a two year agreement. ODOT will then make a sign to recognize someone who has passed, a business or anyone the volunteers ask for.

Bruning said so far, there are 1,400 volunteers around the state. The department will pay for all supplies and even include safety training.

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President of Ohio State University's Alumni Kappa Alpha Psi, Kojo Kandi, said his fraternity adopted a highway to honor one of their members.

The sign sits on the side of I-670 near the Leonard Avenue exit in Columbus. The brothers of the fraternity dedicated the sign for Terence Kizer who was also a member and passed away from kidney transplant complications.

"He was a long time coach he was a mentor to many of us and we wanted to leave a lasting legacy or gift to the community through him," Kandi said.

ODOT hopes bringing the attention to the signs will help get more people to volunteer to pick up trash. He also wants to encourage the loved ones of crash victims to take part in this instead of creating a memorial site which can cause safety concerns.

"We have to mow around them if they get damaged sometimes we have to remove them if they're a distraction and cause a hazard to other motorists," Bruning said.

Bruning said the program costs less than other solutions to keeping the highways clean.

In the last ten years, it cost $1.4 million for the adopt a highway program, $3.2 million to pay guards who work with inmates and $34.8 million to pay for ODOT crews.

People can volunteer at this link.