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Summer flooding leads to more litter ahead of DEP’s Adopt-A-Highway clean up event

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state Department of Environmental Protection is anticipating high levels of trash during the Adopt-A-Highway Fall Statewide Cleanup this Saturday.

Terry Fletcher

Much of that build up has to do with summer flooding, according to DEP Chief Communications Officer Terry Fletcher.

“Obviously with the storm events and the recent flooding that we had there may be a little bit more than typical out along those roadways. Each area might be a little bit different than others,” Fletcher said.

Flooding mostly impacted Kanawha and Fayette counties on Aug. 15. Damage was reported in Campbells Creek, Hughes Creek and Kellys Creek in Kanawha County as well as Smithers, Cannelton Hollow and Gauley Bridge areas in Fayette County.

The Adopt-A-Highway program is administered by the DEP’s Rehabilitation Environmental Action Plan (REAP) and is meant to improve the quality of the state’s environment by encouraging community members to clean up litter along roads in their neighborhoods.

Fletcher told MetroNews Thursday morning more than 200 groups across the state have signed up so far.

“We have about 225 groups currently registered and about 1,800 participants across 50 counties,” he said. “They’ll be going out and cleaning up state-maintained roads, back roads, main routes.”

Individuals, families, churches, businesses, schools, civic organizations and government agencies are encouraged to register by the end of Thursday.

“It’s a good way to clean up your community, clean up areas around your home or your school. It can really help collectively bring groups of people together to take care of their environment,” Fletcher said.

In 2021, the Adopt-A-Highway fall clean up saw nearly 2,000 volunteers, representing more than 200 groups, remove 80,000 pounds of litter from 500 miles of state roadway.

Volunteers are provided with garbage bags, work gloves and safety vests.

To register, call 1-800-322-5530 or send an email to

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