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Keep the rubbish off the roads

By: Eric Czarnik | C&G Newspapers | Published April 3, 2018

METRO DETROIT — A seasonal campaign to keep roads from being a dumping ground is getting ready to bloom again this spring. 

Through the Road Commission for Oakland County’s Adopt-A-Road program, the RCOC is inviting groups of volunteers to claim sections of Oakland County roads to maintain and keep clean of litter. 

RCOC spokesman Craig Bryson said the volunteer teams are tasked with maintaining their assigned road for two out of three designated periods: spring, April 14-22; summer, July 14-22; and fall, Sept. 22-30. 

Bryson explained why spring is a critical time for cleaning up the roadsides along primary paved roads throughout Oakland County.

“First of all, in the spring, it’s a great time because the litter has accumulated during the winter,” he said. “Summer and fall, a lot of people are outdoors. There’s a lot of litter from outdoor activities.”

Bryson said the litter usually doesn’t pose a hazard to drivers, and it’s more of an aesthetic blight. 

“If there is something that is dangerous along the road, like a piece of a car, we’ll go and get it out of the way,” he said. “This is more (about) keeping the roads looking nice and removing the litter.”

Bryson said the cleanup program has 296 active groups currently doing Adopt-a-Road, and each group typically ranges from three to 12 members. Teams are trained and issued trash bags and orange safety vests. Participating groups are recognized through the RCOC’s Adopt-A-Road signs, which are installed where work has been done.

  The RCOC encourages the public to properly dispose of their trash and to slow down while volunteers are cleaning up. And the Michigan State Police warns that littering is unlawful.

According to Michigan State Police First Lieutenant Jim Flegel, littering can become dangerous if a driver or passenger throws litter into the path of the vehicle behind them. 

“The vehicle could go into oncoming traffic, or it could potentially make that motorist lose control of the vehicle,” Flegel said.

Flegel mentioned two state laws that are relevant to littering and vehicles. One is a civil infraction for intentionally littering on public or private property, and the other is a misdemeanor for throwing litter in a vehicle’s path.

“If found guilty, it’s punishable by imprisonment up to a year and a fine of not more than $500,” he said regarding the misdemeanor.

Find out more about the Road Commission for Oakland County by visiting or by calling (248) 645-2000. Groups that want to adopt a road may visit, call (248) 858-4891 or write to Learn more about the Michigan State Police by visiting