CHARLESTON, W. Va. – More than 3,000 people will clean up the roads of West Virginia at an upcoming event hosted by the statewide Department of Environmental Protection.

The Adopt-A-Highway Spring State Cleanup is scheduled for Saturday.

Coordinator Kim Smith said the event was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so volunteers are eager to get back to work.

“The goal is to help make West Virginia proud, beautify the state, and get that trash off the roads,” Smith said.

As of Thursday morning, Smith said about 300 groups have signed up so far.

Common items found on the roads include plastic bottles, cans and tires. Smith said the volume of trash they pick up hasn’t changed over the years.

“It’s pretty much the same thing. Last year we picked up about 252 tonnes of trash, which is about average,” she said.

Since the program’s inception in 1988, volunteers have cleaned up nearly 70,000 miles of highways and state roads during annual Adopt-A-Highway events each spring and fall.

Individuals, families, churches, businesses, schools, civic organizations, government agencies and communities can all register. The event takes place on almost any state-maintained road, side road, or major road.

Due to COVID-19, each group must designate someone to do curbside pickup of supplies at their garage.

The program provides garbage bags, work gloves and safety vests to volunteers and takes care of the disposal of collected waste.

Volunteers must be at least 12 years old to participate.

The Adopt-A-Highway program is administered by DEP’s Environmental Remediation Action Plan (ERAP).

To register for Saturday’s cleanup, call 1-800-322-5530 or email [email protected]