District 12 Clean California

What is Clean California?

Trash has plagued California’s streets and highways for decades. Clean California proposes significant investments in litter collection, community engagement and education to ultimately transform unsightly roadsides into spaces of pride for all Californians. This is truly a statewide effort with potential projects in all 58 counties and with a third of the funds going directly to cities, counties, tribes and transit agencies to clean local streets and public spaces.

Over three years, Clean California will remove an additional 1.2 million cubic yards, or 21,000 tons, of trash from the state highway system alone—enough to fill Downtown Disney to the height of a nine-story building. The initiative has already resulted in 12,600 tons of litter removed from the State Highway System and, to date, Caltrans has hired 726 new team members, including 469 maintenance workers who collect litter and perform maintenance duties like graffiti removal.

Learn more about Clean California's statewide efforts.

How We're Impacting the State

Remove Litter

Caltrans is massively expanding litter abatement efforts to remove litter along our roadways and to educate the public on sharing the responsibility of cleaning and maintaining our public spaces.

Create Jobs

Career opportunities and jobs are available for all Californians, including veterans, students, artists, people experiencing homelessness, and those re-entering society from incarceration.

Beautify California

Caltrans will improve the aesthetics of public spaces and transform underserved communities by incorporating art, sustainable landscapes and litter clean-up projects. 

Programs

Clean California is implementing sustainable beautification projects that improve safety and transform highways into spaces of stewardship and pride for all California communities. Two portfolios are funding 15 projects in Orange County—creating jobs, supporting local artists, cleaning roadsides and improving underserved communities.

  • The State Beautification Portfolio removes trash and beautifies community gateways and public areas along the state highway system. The goal is to improve safety and promote community connections, with 98 percent of the projects benefitting historically marginalized communities. Twelve State Beautification projects will be completed in Orange County before the end of 2023.
  • The Local Grants Portfolio will provide approximately $296 million statewide to beautify and improve streets and roads, tribal lands, parks, pathways, and transit centers to restore pride in public spaces. Three Local Grant projects will be completed in Orange County before the end of 2024.

See our list of projects

Since 1989, the Caltrans Adopt-A-Highway Program has been providing an avenue for individuals, organizations or businesses to help maintain sections of roadside within California's State Highway System. Thanks to Clean California, the Adopt-A-Highway Program is now providing volunteer incentive stipends of up to $250 for litter cleanup efforts. The incentive stipends include:

  • $250: Adopted Highway Segments
  • $250: Ramps and Quads (all sides)
  • $125: One on- and off-ramp
  • $62.50: One ramp
  • Up to $250 Supplemental permit, depends on size of clean-up event
  • Up to $250 Non-traditional adoptions such as Park and Rides and bike paths.

Learn more about Adopt-A-Highway

To further our goal of keeping highways litter-free, Caltrans holds regular events for local residents to properly dispose of waste items at no cost*. These events create a cultural shift of shared responsibility and community pride while preventing illegal dumping, educating the public on how to manage our trash, and keeping our roads and communities clean. Each event is offered in a different city in Orange County every month to increase access. Community cleanup events include:

Dump Days - Welcomes the public to bring unwanted bulky and oversized items for proper disposal. Items accepted include mattresses, furniture and toys. Dump Days are held in partnership with local government agencies.

Shredding Events - On-site paper shredding service to properly dispose of documents while keeping confidential information safe.

*Caltrans does not collect household hazardous waste. Find a household hazardous waste collection center near you.

See our past events

Caltrans partners with transitional job programs to provide thousands of Californians, regardless of background, paths to gainful employment and a fresh start. Participants who have experienced homelessness, re-entered society after incarceration, or encountered barriers to finding employment learn life and job skills and receive temporary paid employment, job placement assistance and social services in counties throughout California.

Work crews support Clean California by collecting and disposing of litter and debris along the state highway system. There are currently seven work crews in Orange County deployed through Clean California.

Through transitional job programs, participants may find an opportunity to gain permanent employment at Caltrans. Organizations offering transitional job opportunities in partnership with Caltrans District 12 include:

Learn more about transitional jobs

The Court Referral Program provides courts, probation departments and judicial officers with a viable option of community service as an alternative to fines and/or incarceration for misdemeanor offenders in Orange County. Work assignments include picking up litter along highway roadsides and at on- and off-ramps.

Learn more about the Court Referral Program

Measuring Our Progress in Orange County

Clean California completed its first year in June 2022, resulting in a cleaner Orange County with record-breaking amounts of litter collected and Adopt-A-Highway volunteer adoptions. See the full Year 1 status report.

With Year 2 of the initiative underway, we look forward to building on our success by increasing our goals and hiring more full-time staff to keep our roadsides clean.

Adopt-A-Highway chart

Litter Abatement

Investments in litter abatement efforts resulted in 32,048 cubic yards of litter collected in Year 1, exceeding the annual target goal by 956 cubic yards.
Adopt-A-Highway graph

Adopt-A-Highway

With the availability of volunteer incentives, District 12's Adopt-A-Highway program exceeded the 2021-22 target goal by 800%—with 82 new adoptions—reaching a total of 224 adoptions out of 266 total adoptable sites.
Jobs created inforgraphic

Job Creation

To meet Clean California's ambitious goal of cleaning and maintaining the state's highway system, District 12 is expanding maintenance crews to include 44 new Maintenance positions. Of these open positions, 28 were filled during Year 1 in addition to new lead workers and supervisors. 

District 12 Clean California Contact

Christianne Smith
Public Information Officer
Email: christianne.smith@dot.ca.gov
Phone: (424) 413-1104

Clean California Logo

Clean California Events in Orange County

10
Dec

Dump Day

9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Lake Forest