Envisioning What's Possible
A transformative initiative to remove litter, create jobs and beautify California
Trash has plagued California’s streets and highways for decades. Clean California makes significant investments in litter collection, community engagement and education to ultimately transform unsightly roadsides into spaces of pride for all Californians. This is truly a statewide effort with potential projects in all 58 counties and with nearly a third of the funds going directly to cities, counties, tribes and transit agencies to clean local streets and public spaces.
Create career opportunities and jobs for veterans, students, artists, people experiencing homelessness, and those re-entering society from incarceration
Significantly reduce litter along state highways, local roads, tribal land, parks, pathways and transit centers
Beautify our state’s transportation network through art and litter clean-up projects in underserved, rural and urban communities throughout the state
Key Action Areas
Engage & Invest in Communities
Create jobs and support local artists while cleaning and beautifying local roads through community grants.
Drive a cultural shift of shared responsibility for the cleanliness of our roadways through litter prevention education campaigns that focus on properly throwing away trash and the impact littering has on natural resources, waterways, public safety and health.
Expand Litter Pickup
Significantly reduce trash from state highways and local roads by strengthening trash collection by Caltrans, community service programs and local volunteers. Increase access to waste facilities and provide free monthly disposal sites throughout the state.
Implement sustainable beautification projects that improve safety and transform dividing highways into spaces that unify communities.
Clean California FAQs
How will the more than $1 Billion dollars be spent?
$418M: Litter Abatement over three years
$287M: State Beautification Projects over two years
$296M: Local Beautification Projects over two years
$32M: Public Education over two years
$62M: Project Design, Construction, Local Support and Engagement
How many jobs will this plan create?
Caltrans estimates that Clean California will create an estimated 10,000-11,000 jobs over three years, including state jobs and opportunities for people experiencing homelessness, at-risk youth, and people re-entering society following incarceration.
How does Clean California differ from the State's current litter abatement efforts?
Caltrans removed 267,000 cubic yards of trash in 2020 — enough to fill 18,000 garbage trucks. Clean California will remove an additional 1.2 million cubic yards, or 21,000 tons, of trash from the state system alone. This much trash:
- Fills 81,000 garbage trucks
- Fills the Rose Bowl 3 times
- Fills enough trash bags to cross 3,000 miles — the length of the U.S. from east to west
- Weighs the equivalent of 135 Statues of Liberty
These figures are only for trash on the state highway system and do not include litter collected through the local match grant program.
How will communities be prioritized for beautification and art projects?
Communities along the state Highways in all 58 California counties stand to benefit from Clean California. Caltrans will ramp up trash collection efforts and incorporate sustainable landscapes along state highways. Caltrans will fund projects on local streets and roads, tribal lands, parks, pathways and transit centers through a new grant program to clean up and enhance public spaces.
How will Caltrans administer the local grants?
Caltrans is currently developing the criteria to equitably award the local grants to underserved, rural and urban communities throughout the state. Communities with unique and significant projects that meet the program's criteria will be eligible to receive funds based on need, population and the number of proposals. Caltrans will match local investments using a need-based formula that provides additional state support to underserved communities with a goal of funding 100 local projects throughout California a year.
What does upkeep look like after the three-year Clean California effort is finished?
This initiative focuses on driving a cultural shift of shared responsibility and community pride for the cleanliness of our roadways through education on properly throwing away trash and the impacts littering has on natural resources, waterways, public safety and health to encourage Californians to do their part to keep our state clean.
How will this plan affect the current efforts to fix California's aging infrastructure?
It won't. The funding for Clean California is separate from the budget for the state's highways and bridges. Senate Bill 1, the transportation bill signed into law in 2017, invests $5 billion dollars a year to repair and upgrade bridges, pavement, local roads and transit. Learn more at rebuildingca.ca.gov.