In November of 2004, Sabine and I adopted a 2.5-mile stretch of northbound Highway 280 in San Jose, California. For nearly 18 years, we were part of the California Adopt-A-Highway program.

Our assigned area is the north side of Hwy 280 between the Meridian Avenue and Saratoga Avenue. If we have enough crew members, we also work on the Meridian-Southwest-Expressway interchange. We also try to keep Moorpark and Parkmoor between Bascom and Leigh clean because they are de fact on-ramps and off-ramps in this area. We work from 9:00 to 12:30 one Saturday each month. A couple of times a year, we take on The Alameda exit on northbound Highway 880. Our permit to clean this area was pulled in January 2021, after 16 years. If you really want to know the gruesome details about how and why and who, email me and I'll share that information.

As of April 10, 2021, we have adopted a new section of the local highways: Highway 101 southbound between Capitol Expressway and Yerba Buena Road. It's about 3/4 of a mile in length, but wide and flat for almost all of it.

Effective August 2022, we have opted out of the Adopt-A-Highway program.

Details about our 18 years are below:

Want to get involved? Email me at if you'd like to join a work crew.

Crazy stuff we found on the last pickup  

Do you think you know litter? Take the Trash Quiz and find out...

Want to see what's in a bag of trash? What's in the bags of recyclables?

Photographic proof that some people are slobs!

5229 bags to landfill
525 bags of recycling
Total bags of trash removed from local roads



52 bags of trash, plus 4.5 bags of recycables.

100 bags of trash, plus 6.5 bags of recyclables
We have adoped a new section of the local highway system, 101 Southbound between Capitol Expressway and Yerba Buena Road.
We didn't get to start work until April, and three times in seven months CalTrans allowed someone else to clean our section THE WEEK BEFORE we were scheduled to go out -- so I am sure our totals will be low this year. On the other hand, somebody needs to get that litter picked up and it might as well be us. Onward!

200 bags of trash, plus 31 bags of recyclables
As the whole world knows, 2020 was a bizarre year. We couldn't go out with our full crews for several months. Sabine and I did a few months alone because we are a household, but what can 2 workers do? In the end, the totals were not that different from 2019. Far less litter because, for about the first eight months, when all but essential workers were staying home, *far* fewer people were on the roads going to and from work.

199 bags of trash, plus 21 bag of recyclables
The total for 2019 are low compared to prior years but we were rained out in January and February, and had to cancel in December. Even considering we missed three months, however, it was still one of our lightest year. Could it be that the litter situation has improved, that people are not littering as much?

314 bags of trash, plus 33.5 bag of recyclables.
We were cleaning a larger area than we are picking up now (beginning 2021). More area to clean, more workers, more bags filled.

295 bags of trash, plus 33 bag of recyclables

361 bags of trash, plus 35 bags of recyclables

315 bags of trash - 39 bags of recyclables

305 bags of trash - 32 bags of recyclables

320 bags of trash - 32 bags of recyclables

307 bags of trash - 30 bags of recyclables

364 bags of trash - 39 bags of recyclables

311 bags of trash - 31 bags of recyclables

285 bags of trash - 19 bags of recyclables

269 bags of trash - 18 bags of recyclables

[Note: Counts prior to 2008 are estimates
because recordkeeping was spotty.]

402 bags of trash - 27 bags of recyclables

326 bags of trash 21 bags of recyclables

I wasn't keep track yet....