The Delaware Department of Transportation introduced Adopt-A-Highway Litter Removal Service of America as its new partner organization for the department's Sponsor-A-Highway program, on Thursday.
The program works to bring together corporate sponsors, the Delaware Department of Transportation and Adopt-A-Highway Litter Removal Service of America to clean up Delaware's interstate highways.
Through the Sponsor-A-Highway program corporate sponsors foot the bill of having Litter Removal Service of American crews clean up one or two mile stretches of interstate highways in Delaware.
In return Litter Removal Services of America provides signs acknowledging the sponsor's contribution that are posted within the sponsor's stretch of highway.
DelDOT's role is to manage Little Removal Services of America. The department of transportation will be responsible for scheduling cleanup crews, issuing permits for posting acknowledgment signs and approving reports, according to Gerard Mulderrig, project manager for the Delaware Department of Transportation.
"This program is completely funded by the sponsors," Mulderrig said. "As a result the Department of Transportation has more time and more money to focus on other maintenance items, such as repairing drainage and fixing pot holes."
Sponsor-A-Highway was first implemented in Delaware in 2003, with Adopt-A-Highway Maintenance Corporation as the partner organization. Their contact expired, and DelDOT put a new contract out to bid. Little Removal Services of America was chosen and took over in early 2013.
When Litter Removal Services of America came on they were starting with a clean slate. All of the previous contracts that had been procured with corporate sponsors were terminated when DelDOT's original contract expired with Adopt-A-Highway Maintenance Corporation.
Three sponsors have been brought on board since the new contract began earlier this year; they are with Royal Farms, Grotto Pizza and Harvey, Hanna and Associates.
The Sponsor-A-Highway program is currently in place on I-95, I-495 and I-295 from I-95 to the U.S. Route 13 interchange. It is also in place on Delaware Route 1 from I-95 to milepost nine in Dover.
Sponsor-A-Highway differs from the Adopt-A-Highway program in that Adopt-A-Highway is manned by volunteers, who are not allowed to clean interstates for safety reasons. Adopt-A-Highway also typically only has four clean ups a year, whereas Sponsor-A-Highway crews are out cleaning up twice a month, according to Melinda Center, CEO of Litter Removal Services of America.
Aside from cleaning up Delaware's interstates, the Sponsor-A-Highway program helps the maintenance department at DelDOT stretch its dollar, according to Mark Alexander, of the maintenance department at DelDOT.
"This is a big help to the department," Alexander said. "The department keeps getting asked to do more and more with fewer resources…For them to be able to step up and get sponsor is a huge help to the department for a problem that is getting worse for us because of the limited resources we have."