Cleaning up: Local residents take action to beautify I-40
WILLIAMS, Ariz. — After seeing a significant amount of trash accumulating on the Interstate 40 roadside, Michelle Gauthier and Jody Monahan decided to take action.
“We noticed how much more trash there has been on the side of the highway and a lot of it was blowing on to our property,” Gauthier said.
Gauthier said Monahan started picking it up and encouraged Gauthier to join her.
“That day was also my mom’s birthday and growing up our family would do a lot of trash clean up,” she said. “My mom helped to establish the recycling program in our town. I couldn’t think of what to buy her for her birthday and she lives too far away to visit so I picked up trash.”
Gauthier said the gesture made her mother very happy.
“We are going to continue to go out weekly and focus on different areas so, whoever would like to can join,” she said.
Ryan Harding with the Arizona Department of Transportation Adopt-a-Highway Program said he is grateful for the volunteers who can assist with clean-up, but encourages volunteers to do so safely.
“ADOT does have a safety briefing on our website that we provide to all volunteers,” he said.
Harding said volunteers should not pick up any items that might be hazardous, including sealed bottles with liquid.
He also said to avoid car batteries, animal carcasses and needles.
Volunteers are encouraged to contact the ADOT district office to let them know about these types of items.
“Our maintenance crews, who are trained to deal with these types of items, can pick them up,” he said.
The Northcentral District Office can be reached at (928) 774-1491.
Harding provided a link to a safety briefing for anyone interested in picking up garbage along the roadways: azdot.gov/node/14023
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