Delayed by pandemic, Alberta highway cleanup goes Saturday

The annual Alberta highway cleanup will take place on Saturday after being postponed in the spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The province is reminding drivers to watch out for cleanup crews and slow down when passing them.

Province asks motorists to keep an eye out for volunteers

Volunteers will be out in force on Saturday, picking up garbage littering Alberta highways and roadside ditches. (Kory Siegers/CBC)

Alberta's annual highway cleanup was postponed due the pandemic, but that didn't stop the garbage from piling up.

The event, originally scheduled for the second Saturday in May, will now take place on Saturday between 7 a.m and 5 p.m.

In a news release Wednesday, the province advises motorists to "watch for the volunteers, slow down, obey signs and use caution when passing cleanup crews."

The volunteers, including youth from groups like 4-H clubs, Scouts, Girl Guides and schools, will be wearing bright orange safety vests.

In return for their hard work, the organizations earn $100 for each kilometre they clean.

In 2019, volunteers collected more than 56,000 bags of garbage from nearly 14,000 kilometres of Alberta's roads. That resulted in the province contributing close to $1.3-million to the volunteer groups.

Organizations interested in participating in the annual cleanup are encouraged to contact Alberta Transportation.