Litter stock photo

From highways to the Missouri River, there are a lot of opportunities for volunteers to clean up Columbia.

According to Keep America Beautiful in 2020, there were more than 50 billion pieces of litter scattered along the country’s road and waterways. For a nationwide problem, let’s start with some community solutions.

Adopt-A- programs

Take care of your own stretch of highway with Adopt-A-Road, a Boone County Resource Management effort where volunteers can “adopt” and clean at least one mile of roadway once a year or more. Or try Columbia’s Adopt-A-Spot program, where volunteers commit to a single spot for eight cleanups over two years. One-time efforts are welcomed as well.

Adopt-A-Road: 573-874-7499

Adopt-A-Spot: 573-874-7499

Missouri River Relief

Missouri River Relief and its roster of volunteers have been removing refrigerators, bowling balls and more from the Missouri River once a month for 20 years. The organization reports that it has cleaned up more than 2 million pounds of litter from the river since it was founded.Based in Columbia, you can join the group on cleanups to help keep our drinking water clean and safe. 

Phone: 573-443-0292


Office of Sustainability classes

Get schooled with Columbia’s Office of Sustainability recycling program classes. They’re available for people of all ages, which Michael J. Heimos, Columbia’s environmental education coordinator, says is vital. “Start them young, talk about the things you can do in your everyday life,” Heimos says. 


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