State now accepts money or volunteers to clean roads

Service • UDOT says using cash to pay contractors is safer.
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Instead of seeking only volunteers to clean up roads — and reward them by putting their group's name on "Adopt-A-Highway" signs — the state is changing rules to allow groups to offer money instead, and then have state contractors gather the litter.

The Utah Transportation Commission approved that change, saying it will provide better safety on the busiest freeways, and also ensure a better job of gathering litter in some cases.

"It's been a mixed bag. Some groups do an exceptional job, and some do a not-so-exceptional job," said John Njord, executive director of the Utah Department of Transportation. Giving money instead of volunteers will still allow groups or companies to do some advertising, and help clean roads, he said.

UDOT Deputy Director Carlos Braceras added that while volunteers who gather litter receive training and safety gear, it is safer along busy freeways and highways to have contractors do the work who have more experience.

Lee Davidson