Adopt-A-Roadside Program

What’s Involved?

The objective of Saint Louis County's Adopt-A-Roadside Program is:

• To create public awareness of the environmental problems and the cost of unsightly littering along County roadways.

• To improve the appearance of our roadsides and neighborhoods.

Problem Statement

We all know that the accumulation of litter creates an unsightly roadside environment. As visitors travel our roadways, the cleanliness of roadsides creates an immediate and lasting impression. A littered roadside imparts the belief that the neighborhood is unkempt and not a place where one would want to visit, live, shop, work, or attend school. By keeping roadsides clear of litter, the appearance of entire neighborhoods is enhanced, instilling pride in the minds of affected residents and property owners.

However, litter pickup is both labor intensive and costly. The County Department of Transportation has many urgent needs for its road maintenance funds, making litter pickup a secondary priority to pothole patching, concrete slab replacement, signing, pavement markings, and other activities directly related to the safe and efficient movement of traffic.

Problem Solution
The Adopt-A-Roadside Program is an opportunity to muster public involvement in correcting the problem, and to create a public awareness of the problem posed by litter accumulation. Any individual, family, company, organization, or group may adopt a section of a County roadside and assume the responsibility for litter pickup. 

An adopted roadside section must be at least a half (½) mile long and have sufficient green areas within the right-of-way to justify the need for litter pick up along the roadside. Adopted sections will be assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis, provided the section is appropriate for adoption as determined by the Department of Transportation. If a section of County roadside has already been adopted, it is not eligible for adoption by another Adopter. The County requires that adopted road sections on the same road abut one another, unless there is more than a half (½) mile distance between adopted sections. A map of some of the roads suitable for adoption can be found on the Adopt-A-Roadside Map

If interested, please fill out the Adopt-A-Roadside Application Form on the County’s website, and our Adopt-A-Roadside County Coordinator will contact the Adopter Representative by e-mail.

Adopter Representative’s Responsibilities

• Organize a litter pickup work effort a minimum of four (4) times per year, at least once every three (3) month quarter, during daylight hours.

• Obtain a Release Of Liability Waiver  from each participant, including the parent/guardian of each participant 14 – 17 years of age. Minors under the age of 14 are not allowed to participate in the Adopt-A-Roadside Program. Once a waiver is obtained from a participant, the same waiver may be used for subsequent litter pickup work efforts by that participant.

• Review safety instructions with participants at the beginning of each work effort.

• If Adopter elects to recycle litter, hand out yellow bags for non-recyclable waste and clear bags for recyclables. Otherwise, yellow bags will be used for all litter.

• Instruct participants to tie up filled litter bags and place them at least six (6) feet from the edge of the roadway, without blocking sidewalks/driveways.

• Notify the Adopt-A-Roadside County Coordinator after the completion of each roadside litter pickup work effort by filling out the Litter Pickup Form on the County’s website.  

Department of Transportation’s Responsibilities

• Upon request, permanent  “Adopt-A-Roadside” Recognition Signs  will be installed, one at each end of the adopted roadside section. The signs are permitted to acknowledge the Adopter’s contribution to a reduction in roadside litter. The final field location of each sign shall be determined by Departmental personnel (No “Adopt-A-Roadside” recognition signs will be erected along adopted roadside streets within a Residential Subdivision.)

• Provide safety vests, gloves, yellow and clear bags for litter pickup, and two  “Litter Crew Ahead” Portable Warning Signs

• The portable warning signs will be provided for roadside sections along non-residential type streets.

• Pickup and dispose of litter bags during normal working hours, upon receipt of a Litter Pickup Form  by e-mail from the Adopter Representative.

• Routinely check the cleanliness of the adopted roadside section.


Adopt-A-Roadside projects may be started at any time by contacting the Adopt-A-Roadside County Coordinator at (314) 615-1111. When an acceptable section of County roadside is chosen for adoption, a Memorandum Of Understanding shall be signed by the Adopter Representative and returned to:

Adopt-A-Roadside Program

St. Louis County, Department of Transportation

Division of Highway Operations

1050 N. Lindbergh Boulevard

Saint Louis, Missouri 63132

After litter pickup materials are provided by the County Coordinator, the litter pickup work effort may begin.