COCKE COUNTY, Tenn. (WATE) — Tennessee Department of Transportation is partnering with communities across the state on comprehensive litter prevention programs. Eight East Tennessee counties are needing volunteers for cleanup.

Adopt-A-Highway is a free program that has been around since 1989 made for individuals, families businesses, community groups and civic organizations to give back.

In order to participate, volunteers must be 12 or older and commit to cleaning up a TDOT-approved two-mile stretch of roadside each quarter. One cleanup per season is recommended, however, they’re conducted more frequently.

The program’s goal is to give Tennesseans the opportunity to go outdoors, give back to their community and make a positive impact on the environment.

Program participants are also rewarded with a free roadside recognition panel displaying their chosen message along the adopted route.

TDOT will provide supplies including plastic bags, trash grabbers, gloves, caution signs and safety vests. TDOT will also pick up filled bags at the end of the cleanup.

Adopt-A-Highway participants have removed more than 12 million pounds of litter from Tennessee roadsides. Last year, more than 87,000 pounds of litter were removed by volunteers, according to the news release. 476 miles of highway across the state have been adopted and there are several available routes in Cock County ready for adoption.

The East Tennessee counties that still need volunteers are Fentress, Morgan, Scott, Campbell, Union, Grainger, Jefferson and Cocke.

To learn more about the state’s litter reduction, education efforts and how to join the movement to reduce litter, visit