SOUTHFIELD (WWJ) – Volunteers across state will be out in full force as the Michigan Department of Transportation kicks off its annual “Adopt-A-Highway” cleanup project.

Motorists should be on the lookout for volunteers picking up litter along state highway roadsides from July 13 to 21, the second of three scheduled pickups this year.

“With no increase in transportation funding since 1997, every dollar counts,” State Transportation Director Kirk Steudle said in a statement. “Adopt-A-Highway volunteers provide a financial lift for MDOT and our state by performing needed work that we otherwise couldn’t fund.”

In 2012, Adopt-A-Highway volunteer groups reported collecting about 65,000 bags of trash, a cost benefit to the state of $5.6 million. The year’s final Adopt-A-Highway pickup will be in the fall, from Sept. 21 to 29.

Volunteers wear high-visibility, yellow-green safety vests required by federal regulations when working within a highway’s right of way. Current volunteers include members of various civic groups, businesses and families. Crew members have to be at least 12 years old and each group must number at least three people.

Sections of highway are still available for adoption, and there’s no fee to participate. Groups are asked to adopt a section of highway for at least two years. Adopt-A-Highway signs bearing a group’s name are posted along the stretches of adopted highway.

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