Volunteers should plan ahead
Before heading out
- Select a clear day to do the picking. Work only during daylight hours and during good weather. Do not work when roads are wet or when visibility is poor.
- Picking may be restricted on or near holidays or other times when very heavy traffic occurs
- Assign work teams and leaders before you reach the site
- Distribute trash bags to each volunteer beforehand
- Bring a first aid kit and a cell phone.
- Identify the nearest hospital and know how to get there in an emergency. Make sure your tetanus shots are up to date.
- Bring heavy work gloves, light-colored clothing, brightly covered cap and heavy leather shoes or work boots with good ankle support.
- Put on sunscreen and insect or tick repellent. Or, wear a hat and long sleeves to avoid sunburn.
- Volunteers must wear safety vests. Make sure you have enough vests for everyone.
- Review safety precautions every time you go out and take them seriously
While you work
- Always wear your safety vest. Motorists must be able to see you.
- Use proper bags for picking up trash.
- Work one side of the road at a time. Do not cross the road to get to your vehicle.
- Face the traffic while you work.
- Stay in a group and be constantly alert for approaching traffic
- Use cell phones to communicate among work teams
- All-terrain vehicles are allowed as long as they are used in accordance with existing laws
- Bring along a supply of drinking water and take break.
- Secure the bags by tying the ends. Place the bags near the shoulder, but not on the shoulder.
- Do not crush collected trash to make more room in the bag; broken or jagged objects can cause injuries.
- Schedule the pickups for MnDOT when the weather is good
- Groups are encouraged to recycle materials for their own benefit
MnDOT still has a role in helping volunteers keep roadsides clean. MnDOT will:
- Remove filled bags from the roadsides
- Remove large, heavy or hazardous items.
- Erect a 3’ x 5’ highway sign to recognize a group’s commitment. The sign legend is the name of your group only, not its message. It is limited to two lines of 15 characters including spaces and punctuation.