Governor Gavin Newsom’s Clean California initiative hit a major milestone of removing 1 million cubic yards of litter from state roads since the program’s inception less than 15 months ago. That’s more than 16,700 tons of garbage—enough to make two piles of trash go beyond the International Space Station in an orbit 250 miles above Earth’s surface.
“California is the most beautiful place in the world, and we need to do more to keep our communities clean and safe,” Governor Newsom said. “With an investment of over $1 billion, the Clean California projects are cleaning up our neighborhoods and enriching our public spaces by removing litter and debris from roadsides across our state.”
Clean California is a massive $1.1 billion, multi-year cleanup effort led by Caltrans to engage communities to remove waste, create thousands of jobs, and transform public spaces. Since the launch of Clean California in July 2021, Caltrans has removed 300 percent more litter from the state highway system than in 2020 and has hired 759 new team members, including maintenance workers who collect litter. and remove graffiti.
“Removing 1 million cubic yards of waste from our roadways is a huge step toward fulfilling Governor Newsom’s vision of a Clean California. I thank the many communities who join us in this effort to make our state cleaner, safer, and more beautiful.” I salute you,” said CalTrans director Tony Tavares.
Along with roadside cleanup efforts, Caltrans has organized 180 free dump day events across the state to allow Californians to safely dispose of bulk items, while collecting more than 18,000 tires and 5,000 mattresses. Clean California also offers a $250 monthly volunteer incentive stipend through the Adopt-a-Highway program, increasing highway adoption by nearly 1,000. These highway users have collected 3,000 cubic yards of garbage during the last 15 months.
Clean California Grants have funded 231 projects to revitalize and beautify underserved communities, some of which are already complete and are now sources of community pride. The recently enacted state budget includes $100 million to fund another round of Clean California local grant projects.
For more information about transforming your community and becoming a part of Clean California, visit CleanCA.com,
Before and after photos of roads cleaned by Caltrans maintenance staff: