“Trucker Matt” helps keep I-90 clean as spring reveals trash covered by winter snows

A long-haul driver who goes by the name “Trucker Matt” has taken it upon himself to clean a stretch of Interstate 90 when his travels take him daily on the heavily traveled north Idaho freeway linking Idaho to Montana and Washington State.

Matthew Culver hauls cedar bark from Naples, Idaho to Superior, Montana. He has been driving truck since retiring from the Marine Corps in 1999. He has owned his own truck, and his own company, since 2007.

Culver has driven the route daily, year-round, for about 4.5 years, and officially signed on with ITD’s Adopt-A-Highway litter pickup program about two years ago. Since then he has picked up about 90 bags of litter from the stretch of freeway.

“I not only clean up Fourth of July Summit, but all over on the route in any wide spot where a truck can safely park,” Culver said. “Fourth of July Pass is my primary objective since it seems to get the most trash, but I also clean up the Idaho Port of Entry roadside temporary inspection location in East Hope at Denton Slough and occasionally Lookout Pass Summit.” He said he and his wife will often bring back a bag of trash from wherever their hiking and fishing adventures take them.

“Wherever Matt goes and whatever he does, he continually looks for ways to make a positive difference,” D1 Volunteer Services Coordinator Robin Karsann said.

Culver’s time in the military made him appreciate cleanliness.

“Having served 25 years in the Marine Corps, I never like seeing an unsightly area with trash strew about everywhere. Besides, Idaho and Montana are just too beautiful to see trash along the road.”

He said it is very rewarding when he sees a clean stretch of highway where litter once was.

“I get dejected when I see trash on the roadside, but when I take action, I feel that I’ve made a positive difference in keeping roads clean and pleasing to the eye.”

Culver said he would love to see more people get involved in keeping our roads clear of debris.

“You can make it a spring and fall event for your business or family. It’s great advertisement for your business and you can honor and memorialize a lost loved one or veteran.”

“I urge others to get involved by contacting your local Idaho DOT office and sign up. The Idaho Transportation Department will provide trash bags and safety vests. Not only have I benefited in getting exercise by picking up trash, and experienced the rewarding feeling of making a difference, I have also collected thousands of dollars in excellent-condition tire chains, bungee cords, hand tools, and more all left abandoned by truckers. It’s a win-win-win situation.”

Culver Enterprises is one of the 242 organizations in District 1 that participate in the Adopt-a-Highway program. Some have made it a long-term commitment.

“What amazes me about being a Volunteer Services Coordinator for District 1 is to see the faithfulness and longevity of participation our volunteers show year after year,” said Karsann. “Several groups have been participants for more than 20 years.”

Here’s the list of Adopt-a-Highway coordinators around the state:

District 1

Robin Karsann

600 W. Prairie Dr.

Coeur d’Alene  83815-8764

Phone: 208 772-1200

Counties: Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai and Shoshone

 

District 2

Shane Niemela

PO Box 837

Lewiston, ID  83501-0837

Phone: 208 799-4239

Counties: Clearwater, Idaho, Latah, Lewis and Nez Perce

 

District 3

Judi Conner

PO Box 7129

Boise, ID  83707-1129

Phone: 208 334-8094

Counties: Ada, Adams, Boise, Canyon, Elmore, Gem, Owyhee, Payette, Valley and Washington

 

District 4

Wendy Robinson

126 S. Date Street

Shoshone, ID  83352

Phone: 208 886-7831

Counties: Blaine, Camas, Cassia, Jerome, Lincoln, Minidoka and Twin Falls.

 

District 5

Sharon Short

PO Box 4700

Pocatello, ID  83205-4700

Phone: 208 239-3300

Counties: Bannock, Bear Lake, Bingham, Caribou, Franklin, Oneida and Power

 

District 6

Erika Turner

PO Box 97

Rigby, ID 83442-0097

Phone: 208 745-5612

Counties: Bonneville, Butte, Clark, Fremont, Custer, Jefferson, Lemhi, Madison and Teton