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:
600 W. Prairie Dr.
Coeur d’Alene 83815-8764
Phone: 208 772-1200
Counties: Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai and Shoshone
PO Box 837
Lewiston, ID 83501-0837
Phone: 208 799-4239
Counties: Clearwater, Idaho, Latah, Lewis and Nez Perce
PO Box 7129
Boise, ID 83707-1129
Phone: 208 334-8094
Counties: Ada, Adams, Boise, Canyon, Elmore, Gem, Owyhee, Payette, Valley and Washington
126 S. Date Street
Shoshone, ID 83352
Phone: 208 886-7831
Counties: Blaine, Camas, Cassia, Jerome, Lincoln, Minidoka and Twin Falls.
PO Box 4700
Pocatello, ID 83205-4700
Phone: 208 239-3300
Counties: Bannock, Bear Lake, Bingham, Caribou, Franklin, Oneida and Power
PO Box 97
Rigby, ID 83442-0097
Phone: 208 745-5612
Counties: Bonneville, Butte, Clark, Fremont, Custer, Jefferson, Lemhi, Madison and Teton