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Governor announces 'Operation Clean-Up' of Minnesota roads

Spring cleaning for Minnesota roadways is under way again this year with the help of offender work crews and Adopt-a-Highway volunteers. Governor Tim Pawlenty and Lt. Governor Carol Molnau today announced the third annual "Operation Clean-Up" to ...

Spring cleaning for Minnesota roadways is under way again this year with the help of offender work crews and Adopt-a-Highway volunteers. Governor Tim Pawlenty and Lt. Governor Carol Molnau today announced the third annual "Operation Clean-Up" to pick up litter along the state's highways from now through September.

"As the snow melts, we are unfortunately greeted by an abundance of trash along our roadways," Governor Pawlenty said. "We are again using offenders to help clean up while they work off part of their sentence. We are also grateful to the many volunteers who help to beautify our state."

Two offender work service programs will assist with Operation Clean-Up:

  • Sentence to Serve (STS): Carefully selected, non-violent offenders sentenced by the court to work on community improvement projects in combination with jail time, or as a probation sanction.

Started in 1986, about 30,000 offenders participate in STS annually across the state, working over one million hours.

  • Institution/Community Work Crews (ICWC): Minimum-security, adult male state prison inmates from Faribault, Lino Lakes, Red Wing and Stillwater. An average of 120 ICWC offenders perform work service daily. An additional 40 ICWC offenders construct affordable housing in greater Minnesota.

STS and ICWC offenders work on a variety of community improvement projects including litter pick-up, river clean-up, trail development, and graffiti removal. Crews also prepare for and clean up after floods and severe storms. The Minnesota Departments of Transportation (Mn/DOT) and Natural Resources, along with local counties and agencies, identify work activities and supply equipment.
Since 2005, Governor Pawlenty has brought together the skills and resources of the Department of Corrections and Mn/DOT for Operation Clean-Up. The Department of Corrections provides both state work crews and coordination of county STS crews, who are directed to the most highly-traveled highways. More than 50,000 offender hours have been dedicated to cleaning roadways across the state since Operation Clean-Up began.

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The Adopt-a-Highway Program enables the state's environmentally-conscious citizens to make a personal contribution to a cleaner environment.

"Our clean-up volunteers commit their personal time to beautifying our roadways, which also saves taxpayer dollars," said Lt. Gov. Molnau, Commissioner of Mn/DOT. "The volunteers pick up 26,000 tons of litter each year."

Lt. Gov. Molnau also encourages additional volunteers to join a county or local Adopt-a-Road program, as most state highways are already adopted. Information about the Adopt-a-Highway program can be found at: www.dot.state.mn.us/adopt/ .

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