Today,, motorists will see volunteers wearing bright orange safety vests collecting garbage along Alberta roadsides as they raise money for community organizations.
The annual highway cleanup was established by the Alberta government as a fundraiser for non-profit and community organizations and to help clean up provincial highway right-of-ways.
This year’s Annual Highway Cleanup is taking place on May 6th from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.
In Lacombe, there are three local organizations participating in the event: the Lacombe Handicraft and Lapidary Guild, Lacombe Ware Two Scouts and the Lacombe Outsiders 4H Club.
“Traffic safety is a shared responsibility. As always, safety is top priority so let’s remember to keep an eye out for each other,” said Anna Neale, an Alberta Transportation representative. “For everyone’s sake, motorists are reminded to slow down, obey signs and be mindful when passing clean-up crews. Anyone involved in the clean-up is asked to be aware, make sure they are visible and obey all traffic signs.”
Last year, the Alberta government contributed $974,025 to 622 volunteer organizations as 14,186 volunteers helped clean up more than 12,600 km of Alberta roadways. The local highways being cleaned in the area include Hwys. 2, 2A, 11, 11A, 12 and 53.
Volunteer organizations include 4-H clubs, Scouts, Girl Guides, schools, church organizations, Rotary clubs, sports teams and various non-profit groups.
Groups must register with the province as non-profit organizations to participate.
Organizations can earn between $55 and $100 per kilometre cleaned with the higher amount going to those groups cleaning highways closer to urban centres which tend to accumulate more trash.
Albertans over the age of nine are invited to participate in the clean-up. Volunteers must attend a safety-training program and be under adult supervision.
More information is available by calling 310-0000 toll-free or by visiting the Annual Highway Cleanup web site.
Motorists are asked to slow down, obey signs and be cautious when passing clean-up crews. Participants are asked to be aware, make sure they are visible and obey all traffic signs.