Photo of Kitsap County launches new volunteer program to tackle litter!

Kitsap County Public Works has launched a new way for people to tackle litter in their neighborhoods.

“Adopt a Spot” is an updated version of the County’s longtime Adopt a Road volunteer program. The name change reflects a desire to promote clean beaches and greenspaces, in addition to county and city roads.

The program provides volunteers with trash bags, grabbers, safety gear, free disposal, and recognition signs.

“Dedicated volunteers have helped us with roadside litter cleanup for many years. But the program was created long ago and needed a jolt of energy,” said Caitlin Newman, program supervisor in the Kitsap County Solid Waste Division. “We’ve wanted to revive it for a while, and in 2021 this became a necessity.”

The motivation to update the program was due in part to the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office eliminating its inmate litter crews in August 2021. The two full-time crews, funded by Public Works, removed 5 tons of trash from 300 road miles each month. They were the primary litter removal method for the County.

“The challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated safety concerns, together with the lack of incarcerated individuals who met the qualification standard to volunteer for the program, forced us to end the program,” according to Sheriff John Gese.

Volunteering to Adopt a Spot
The new Adopt a Spot website makes it easy to register, watch required safety videos, and follow the program’s progress. It includes an interactive map of adopted areas and real-time data submitted by volunteers.

Volunteers can keep supplies at home so they can clean their adopted spot at their convenience. Large groups can request supplies a few weeks before a scheduled event.

“Our goal is to make volunteering convenient, safe, and celebrated. We really need and appreciate the help,” says Grant LaCrosse, Adopt a Spot coordinator. “We can customize our program to meet the needs of volunteers.”

More than 60 individuals, families, organizations, businesses, and military groups have adopted spots so far. Staff are excited to welcome many more.

A few areas are especially in need of clean up. Volunteers are sought to adopt sections along these roadways:

  • In South Kitsap, SW Lake Flora Rd; JM Dickenson Rd SW; SW Old Clifton Rd; Sidney Rd SW; West Belfair Valley Rd; and Sunnyslope Rd SW.
  • In Central Kitsap, Seabeck Highway NW; Silverdale Way NW; NW Fairgrounds Rd; and NE Fairgrounds Rd.
  • In North Kitsap, NE Columbia St; NE Lincoln Rd; Little Boston Rd NE; Hansville Rd NE; and Stottlemeyer Rd NE.

Adopt a spot here https://adopt-a-spot-kitcowa.h...

    Turning attention toward prevention
    With the Adopt a Spot program launched, Kitsap County is refocusing its efforts on other litter removal and control strategies. These include:

    • Partnering with military volunteers and other dedicated groups to “foster” roads that need extra cleanup or aren’t suitable for adoption by others.
    • Supervising community service for the Kitsap County Therapeutic Courts.
    • Organizing public cleanup events.
    • Hiring contractors to remove litter in dangerous areas that may make it complicated to clean up.

      Preventing litter is also key. Kitsap County partners with the Washington Department of Ecology on statewide campaigns designed to address behavior that leads to roadside litter. One such behavior is failing to secure vehicle loads before driving to the dump.

      In 2021, Kitsap County gave away 700 vehicle cargo nets used to prevent trash and other debris from blowing out of trucks. Data collected before and after the giveaway show the nets reduced unsecured loads at waste facilities.

      Though 75 percent of Washingtonians don't litter, the actions of those who do result in expensive cleanups, dangerous road conditions, loss of community pride and tourism, and larger environmental impacts. Kitsap County is committed to cleaning up and preventing litter in our communities and welcomes the help of volunteers and community partners.

      Visit the Adopt a Spot website to learn how to get involved or contact staff directly at adoptaspot@kitsap.gov or 360-337-5777.


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