SAEMS provides opportunities to help improve the quality of the environment directly by participating in community cleanups. SAEMS has hosted and teamed with other organizations, such as Tucson Clean & Beautiful, in cleanups of wildcat dumpsites in the Tucson area. For almost two decades, SAEMS volunteers met quarterly to pick up trash along a one mile stretch of highway east of the Sonoita exit. We also formerly sponsored a regular trail cleanup in the Tucson mountains.
We are currently evaluating new opportunities to continue this SAEMS tradition. We encourage anyone interested to provide suggestions and to come out and help keep Tucson beautiful!

SAEMS Community Cleanup Info

Meeting Location:  The cleanup event locations will be provided in advance and we will ask for volunteers.

Time:  Cleanups typically start at 8:00 a.m. sharp, include a safety meeting, and usually last no more than 4 hours.

Restrictions:  Volunteers must be 12 years of age or older and if under 18, accompanied by a parent or guardian.

What to Wear:  Wear long pants, long sleeves, closed toe shoes, hat and sunscreen.

SAEMS Provides:  SAEMS will provide safety vests, leather gloves, litter grabbers and collection bags. Also bottled water and snacks will be available.

Lunch:  SAEMS typically hosts an appreciation lunch after the cleanup.  A prize will be given for the most interesting treasure found.

RSVP:  Coordinator of events is Derek Sizemore at

SAFETY:   The safety of SAEMS volunteers is of utmost importance. A short safety briefing will be conducted the morning of the cleanup.


ADOT News Article Quotes SAEMS Volunteer Barb Ricca

See the ADOT Press Release by clicking here: ADOT Press Release – Adopt a Highway Program

ADOT Recognizes SAEMS Adopt a Highway Volunteers

June 2013: Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) recently recognized the SAEMS Adopt a Highway volunteer group for cleaning up litter for more than a decade and for logging hundreds of hours picking up more than three tons of trash. See the ADOT press release below.

ADOT Press Release – SAEMS Adopt a Hwy

Past Cleanups

SAEMS Volunteers at State Land Wildcat Dump Cleanup Event

On April 30, 2016, several SAEMS members (Derek Koller, B.J. Cordova, Ken Asch, Pat Hartshorne, Jeremy Rosenthal, plus Louis Braun from Terracon) joined more than 60 other volunteers at a wildcat dump cleanup on Arizona State Land at Groves Park, near Kolb & Irvington Roads. This area consists of approximately 85 acres of desert land next to a neighborhood park and surrounded by homes. SAEMS had previously helped clean up dumping at this site about a decade ago. State Lands has nearly blocked vehicle access to the site to help reduce future dumping. Volunteers quickly filled the three 30-yard roll-off containers with trash, ending the cleanup early.

April 2015 Highway Cleanup Report

Did you forget? That’s OK, we enjoyed perfect weather on Saturday April 25, 2015 as the SAEMS loyal & faithful volunteers completed our last highway trash cleanup along I-10 before the summer break. The Team found numerous treasures along with 17 bags of trash and several tires during our morning trash hunt. Most “unique” was Ken’s find of the recently shed skin of a rarely seen Sonoran Hoop Snake! The theme of the day related to beverage consumption as we found a cup holder, can koozie, and an unopened beer can – See what you’re missing! Mike Block was voted the best find with a valuable blue-tooth antenna (see it attached to his hat in the photo) and won the Starbuck’s gift card. Barb, Ken, Mike, Al & Dan enjoyed a great meal afterward at the Vail Steakhouse. Next pickup is late September, so think about joining us. Always looking for new faces – try and support SAEMS by spending one morning each year with us.
SAEMS Highway cleanup crew
Volunteers (left to right): Al Jorissen (Mike's cousin), Mike Block, Barb Ricca, Ken Asch (Dan Williams behind the camera)

February 2015 Highway Cleanup Report

Our SAEMS volunteers defended the environment once again by collecting trash, tires, and treasures along our SAEMS’ 1-mile stretch of I-10 on February 28, 2015. Fortunately the wind held off until we were nearly complete, as there were 14 bags of trash, plus tires and other large items pulled from the desert. Found items include a cane, hubcap, Frisbee, hat, and eyeglasses. The winner of the Starbucks Gift Card is Ken Asch who found a modified flashlight, which some called a “Peace-Pipe.” The next event is scheduled for Saturday April 25, 2015 at 8 AM. Make it your goal to attend just one trash pickup a year – you too can be a defender of the environment!
SAEMS Highway cleanup crew
Volunteers (left to right): Pat Harrington, Barb Ricca, Ken Asch, Pat Hartshorne, Ryan and Jeff Christensen (Dan Williams behind the camera)

November 2014 Highway Cleanup Report

The SAEMS faithful volunteers completed our trash pickup along I-10 on November 8, 2014, collecting 19 bags of trash and 2 tires on a beautiful but windy day. In honor of Veteran’s Day, Ken Asch saved an American flag from the elements, while the team found several metal objects, a set of rubber O-rings, and a couple of toys. The winning item was the parking sign from O’Malley’s, found by Dan Williams. Everyone enjoyed a hearty meal at the Vail Steakhouse afterwards.


Why not consider joining us on one Saturday in 2015 as an easy New Year’s resolution to complete – new faces are very welcome! Join us at the next pickup on the morning of February 14, 2014…will we find hearts? Please contact the event coordinator, Dan Williams, at if you would like to volunteer or if you have any questions.

SAEMS November-2014-Highway-Cleanup
Volunteers (left to right): Barb Ricca, Ken Asch, Heather and Olivia Shoemaker, Al Jorissen (Mike's cousin), and Mike Block

September 2014 Highway Cleanup Report

The SAEMS team battled strong wind gusts while collecting trash on September 13, 2014 along our stretch of I-10, just past the Sonoita exit. It was a true team effort and 21 bags of trash along with numerous car parts were collected. The winning “treasures” found included a glass prism that may possess magical powers (Olivia), and enough parts to assemble a partial demolition derby car (Barb and Mike). We all enjoyed a brunch at Vail Steak House as a reward for our efforts. Thanks to Barb Ricca, Ken Asch, Heather Shoemaker and daughter Olivia, Mike Block, Pat Harrington, and Dan Williams. Our next “trash-social” is scheduled for November 8, 2014 and we would really like to see a couple new faces join the fun! Please contact the event coordinator, Dan Williams, at if you would like to volunteer or if you have questions.

SAEMS September-2014-Highway-Cleanup
Volunteers (left to right): Heather and Olivia Shoemaker, Mike Block, Barb Ricca, Ken Asch, and Pat Harrington (Dan Williams behind the camera)
Scroll to Top