Caltrans Ramps Up Litter Collection Efforts in Bakersfield


Contact:  Tami Cox
Phone: (559) 488-4082

New 10-point plan builds on success of Clean California

Graphic of California's 10-Point Plan to Beautify Bakersfield: Addressing customer requests about litter, repairing irrigation, keeping key roadways and ramps clear of litter,  dedicating coordinator to oversee beautification, partnering with city of Bakersfield to focus beautification efforts, using social media to get community involved, keeping traffic moving with QuickMap, updating changeable message signs, ensure construction areas are clear of debris, using new sweepers


BAKERSFIELD — Governor Gavin Newsom today announced Caltrans is intensifying its litter collection efforts in Bakersfield and throughout Kern County with a new 10-point action plan to help maintain clean highway roadsides.

“Litter eradication restores beauty to our transportation system and reinvigorates community spirit by creating infrastructure that is functional, eco-friendly, and visually appealing. Strategically deploying Caltrans maintenance crews and engaging the public to help prevent littering will work to aggressively clear trash and provide Kern County residents the clean highway roadsides they deserve and expect.”

Tony Tavares, Caltrans Director
Caltrans is coordinating maintenance and landscape schedules to amplify litter collection in problem areas, taking advantage of previously scheduled closures to minimize impact on the traveling public. Caltrans is also replacing older sweepers with new models, which will help keep highways clean.
These efforts follow the significant positive impact in Kern County from Clean California – Governor Gavin Newsom’s sweeping $1.2 billion, multiyear clean-up effort led by Caltrans to remove trash, create thousands of jobs, and join with communities throughout the state to reclaim, transform, and beautify public spaces. This includes the “Just One Piece” public education campaign to help stop litter at the source.
Since the launch of Clean California in July 2021, Caltrans and the city of Bakersfield have removed thousands of pounds of trash throughout local neighborhoods, engaged communities and transformed public spaces. Caltrans and Kern County partners have collected nearly 25,000 cubic yards of litter, equivalent to approximately 14 miles of trash – roughly 2 miles longer than the length of State Route 99 through the city of Bakersfield – piled 3 feet high and 3 feet wide. 
Clean California has also funded 16 projects totaling $36.2 million throughout Kern County, including four in Bakersfield totaling $10.2 million. The projects are beautifying and improving highway roadsides, local streets and roads, tribal lands, parks, pathways, and transit centers. Through beautification measures and public art, along with the removal of litter and debris, Clean California is enhancing the community and improving spaces for walking and recreation. 
Statewide, Caltrans and its local partners have picked up more than 2.3 million cubic yards of litter since July 2021 – enough to fill about 700 Olympic-size swimming pools. This represents a substantial increase compared to the department’s previous trash collection efforts and can largely be attributed to Clean California along with other Caltrans litter removal efforts. Caltrans has hosted more than 500 free dump days in communities throughout the state – resulting in the collection of 12,000-plus mattresses and nearly 50,000 tires. The initiative has drawn more than 10,000 community clean-up volunteers and created 15,000 jobs, including positions for individuals who were formerly incarcerated, on probation, or experiencing housing insecurity.
Visit to learn more about how Clean California is transforming communities and how you can get involved.