TYLER (KYTX) - Summer parties and long road trips often mean more litter along East Texas streets and highways. That's why the Adopt a Highway program is so important this time of year.
It actually started in the Tyler district in the 1980s. Since then, it's grown to be an international program in five continents.
TXDoT says it's a win-win for people looking to get volunteer hours and help keep litter out of our community.
"It's really something that the Tyler district is known for, and it's an excellent opportunity for people to volunteer, and get out and beauty the community they live in."
TXDoT Public Information Officer Larry Krantz says the community especially needs people to adopt streets and highways during the summer.
"You have more people on the road, you know, more people making long distance car trips. And, that's the kind of stuff where you're seeing people throw garbage out the window."
Sandra Herring says she's seen it happen.
"If I am driving by and I see something big or whatever, I just jump out and grab it."
She's manager of Ye Old City Antique Mall in Tyler. She adopted Locust Street about three years ago.
"Whenever there's that opportunity and you have a place of business, you want to do everything to keep it beautiful and inviting."
Not only does the program help keep communities clean, it also saves taxpayers money.
"Litter pickup across the state costs TXDoT approximately $50 million per year." says Krantz. "And, obviously that's $50 million that could be spent on something else."
Especially because littering is a completely preventable problem.
Right now, there are about 150 groups in the Tyler district that have adopted highways. That's about 1,500 volunteers picking up trash every year.