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Caltrans Offering Cash To Clean Up Litter Along Highways

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) - Cleaning up to cash in: Caltrans is now offering people money to remove litter and trash from local highways.

You don't have to drive far in California to see trash taking a toll on roadways.

"It's just a lot of litter, plants, weeds, it's unkempt. It's depressing when you drive by it. It's out of hand," said driver Pamala Caraballo.

Drivers say the trash is a constant problem they see on their commute -- regardless of where they are driving.

"There is a lot of people that are intentionally throwing trash out the window when their vehicles are running," said driver Rolito Sabuleo.

Caltrans is now offering volunteers loot for litter. The incentive pays people up to $250 per cleanup activity. It's part of Governor Newsom's $1.1 billion plan to clean up California, including providing funding for highways and roads.

"Clean California is all about restoring pride in public spaces and making a difference in our communities, and that goes hand in hand with volunteering. Through Caltrans' Adopt-a-Highway program, volunteers can pitch in to clean and beautify our roadsides, and we're proud to offer an incentive for even more people to help Clean California," said Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin in a press release.

Volunteers will receive the same amount regardless if one person volunteers or a group. If you clean all four ramps of a highway on access points and exits you will get the full $250 or around $62 per ramp.

"As long as it gets it done, let's employ more people," said Caraballo.

A clean-up for cash many hope will restore beauty to the state they love.

"I think it will have a positive, snowball effect and we will be looking at other things to do to help out

Sacramento is one of 13 counties participating in the program. Stipends will be available in Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Imperial, Nevada, Placer, Sacramento, San Diego, Sierra, Sutter, Yolo, and Yuba counties. Caltrans expects to expand the program statewide in the coming months.

According to Caltrans, since July, the department has collected nearly 2,500 tons of trash and made more than 600 job offers as part of the program.

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