Canyon County Sheriff’s program is SW Idaho Group of Year for litter cleanup along highway

The Canyon County Sheriff’s Alternative Sentencing Program was named ITD’s Adopt-a-Highway Group of the Year for the Southwest Idaho region during the June meeting of the Idaho Transportation Board in Boise. The honor is in recognition of efforts at keeping construction zones litter-free and specific focus on right-of-way areas near Treasure Valley highways amid an increasingly vocal traveling public weighing in on the subject, according to ITD District 3 AAH Coordinator, Jennifer Ford. She added that the group has also been focused on cleaning the freeway exits, along on- and off-ramps.

The Canyon County Sheriff’s group has been active since 1994. Last year, the group picked up more than 56,000 pounds of litter from the side of the freeway. Since forming, they have picked up around 284,000 pounds of trash.

Recently, the city of Nampa asked ITD to consider servicing the larger sections of right of way at the off-ramps and deeper sections of state-owned property beyond the right of way with litter-removal groups. When approached by ITD to help, in addition to continuing the 23-mile route they’ve cleaned since 1994, “there was no hesitation on their part and we thank them for their willingness to serve their community,” Ford explained.

The Canyon County Sheriff’s Office accomplishes their mission by utilizing inmates as a part of their court-ordered sentence, including assistance with numerous other projects throughout Canyon County in addition to picking up trash and litter from the interstate. The safety of participants in always a top priority. This includes wearing high-visibility safety vests, posting signage prior to the start of the pickup location, using vehicles with flashing lights and identifiable decals, and utilizing tools to assist with litter and trash pickup and trailers to load filled trash bags and larger trash items.

“The Canyon County Sheriff’s Office takes obvious pride in their county,“ Ford added. “They are focused on the roads on which their community travels and takes pride in working with partners in other departments and other jurisdictions to collectively brainstorm solutions for common issues.”