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Caltrans InfoEdge

Caltrans News Release

District 11

Sept. 15, 2016

Contact: Hayden Manning, (619) 688-6670

Caltrans Lends a Hand in California Coastal Cleanup

SAN DIEGO—Caltrans maintenance staff will pick up litter around bridges, roadways, and underpasses during the week leading up to California Coastal Cleanup Day September 17.

Last year, Caltrans crews collected 1,725 cubic yards of litter, enough to fill 108 trash trucks, and also swept 626 shoulder miles of roadway. Help also came from California’s Adopt-A-Highway program volunteers, 164 groups with 734 participants collected nearly 10 tons of litter.

“Caltrans is dedicated to making California as litter-free as possible,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty. “We spend millions of dollars every year cleaning up trash along our roadways -- money that could be used for road maintenance. We urge all California motorists to dispose of trash properly.”

This year’s activities include: On Saturday, Local Adopt-A-Highway program volunteers will picking up litter at locations on Interstate 5 near the community of Barrio Logan and Imperial Beach; on Interstate 805 through north National City and south San Diego; as well as on Interstate 8 (I-8) thought the community of Alpine.  Caltrans Maintenance Crews have been removing litter on I-8 just east of the community of Ocean Beach, on I-5 through central San Diego; through the San Diego River adjacent to State Route 52 and 67; and on State Route 78 and 79 through the community of Ramona.   
Caltrans has more than 12,000 structures and bridges above or alongside inland waterways. The partnership with the California Coastal Commission helped collect more than 1.1 million pounds of trash and recyclables in 2015, with over 65,000 volunteers participating statewide.

According to the California Coastal Commission, only 20 percent of ocean debris can be linked to ocean-based sources, with the remaining 80 percent coming from land-based sources. Cigarette butts and food wrappers, likely thrown from motor vehicles on to the roadway, represent most of the litter collected.

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

  • Dispose of 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, 1.3 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 visit
“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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