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Keeping Ontario's Highways Clean

Archived News Release

Keeping Ontario's Highways Clean

McGuinty Government Taking Action To Keep Ontario Beautiful

Ministry of Transportation

Cutting grass and picking up litter along the sides of Ontario's busiest highways will help keep the province beautiful and protect the environment.

The Province is hiring maintenance contractors to cut grass and pick up litter along highway sections such as the 401, 417, Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW), 11 and 17.

Ontario's other programs to keep highways clean include:

  • Adopt-A-Highway program - 583 volunteer groups beautify 2,565 kilometres of highway several times each year, including litter pick up, tree, shrub and wildflower planting
  • Operation Springboard - low-risk offenders pick up litter on provincial highways through Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services' program
  • Stash Your Trash - a pilot program underway between the cities of Wawa and Sault Ste. Marie that provides safe locations for drivers to pull off the road and dispose of their in-vehicle trash.

Quick Facts

  • Littering of highways by any means is an offence under the Highway Traffic Act with fines between $60 and $500.
  • Debris that represents a hazard to drivers and impacts public health or environmental safety is removed as quickly as possible by ministry contractors and staff.
  • Last year, 10,000 hectares of roadside grass was mowed on Ontario's busiest highways including QEW, 400 (from 401 to 11), 401 (from 402 to Oshawa), 403 (Hamilton and Mississauga), 404, 409, 410, 427, 35/115, and 417.

Additional Resources


“Ontario's highways are the gateway for many travellers and tourists. Clean highways leave a lasting impression with visitors - we all need to do our part to keep Ontario beautiful.”

Jim Bradley

Minister of Transportation



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