That sort of thing was the original concept behind adopting highways.
According to the DOT's website, highway adoption is "a beautification program intended to encourage community and civic organizations, businesses, nonprofit organizations and private citizens to participate in a continuing effort to keep the roadsides of Connecticut attractive and clean from litter."
State officials reserve the right to decide which highway sections can be adopted and by whom. (In Georgia, there's a legal battle over the KKK's attempt to adopt a section of highway there. Georgia transportation officials rejected the request and the ACLU is going to bat for the KKK.)
In Connecticut, there were questions back in 2009 when the sexy stuff emporium LUV Boutique joined the Adopt-A-Highway program and got signs put up on several locations along I-91 and I-95. Those signs led to headlines like "Auto Erotic." Nursick says that company decided not to renew its highway sponsorships. "But we didn't boot them," he adds.
The central Adopt-A-Highway idea is that you'd adopt a two-mile section of highway and pick up the litter (or pay someone to). That way the state wouldn't have to pay someone to pick up the litter.
Urman says her company is now picking up litter for more than 50 highway adopters, and believes the competing firm is doing about the same.
And there's a lot of trash along our highways. Our DOT spends about $2 million a year cleaning up empty beer cans, used condoms, cigar butts, and every other sort of refuse you can imagine.
"We clean it up, they (meaning our motoring public) throw more of it out," says Nursick.
The question of exactly how much in litter pick-up costs the Adopt-A-Highway program is saving Connecticut taxpayers is difficult to answer, but it probably ain't a lot.
"It saves something," Nursick acknowledges, "but it's hard to quantify… We think it would be marginal in terms of what it would be saving."
On the other hand, seems like adopting our highways could be a profitable sort of philanthropic endeavor for businesses.