Scottsdale Salutes: Adopt-a-Road volunteer Elisabeth Swanson

Elisabeth Swanson

Elisabeth Swanson

One former Scottsdale resident started her one-woman, Adopt-a-Road team after seeing a disturbing environmental ad about litter. Almost immediately, Elisabeth Swanson started getting involved in the movement to keep Scottsdale roads clean.

“There was an environmental ad trying to get people to stop littering,” said Ms. Swanson in a phone interview. “It had a Native American canoeing through waters with garbage and pollution. It really bothered me.”

Ms. Swanson started going around and picking up trash on the side of the road on her own. Now, she’s been cleaning her sections for about two years.

“Finally I looked online and found there were organized groups that already do that,” Ms. Swanson recounted.

She cleans two one-mile sections, McDowell Road from Scottsdale Road to Galvin Parkway; and Hayden Road from McDowell Road to McClintock Road.

She cleans her routes every other weekend and fills a 32-gallon trash can at least once, per route.

“It’s amazing — when you stop and walk it,” said Ms. Swanson.

“You use so much more waste than when you drive. I don’t know if most people put their trash in cans and the wind spreads it, or if people are just careless when they drive along.”

Ms. Swanson says it isn’t just the trash on the roads that bother her.

“I see it as a problem. Visually it’s a problem, but there are the canals that are getting trash thrown into them,” said Ms. Swanson. “The fish and other wildlife can be effected.”

Ms. Swanson previously lived in south Scottsdale but moved to north Phoenix in November.

For more information on volunteering in the city of Scottsdale visit

Northeast Valley News Editor Melissa Rosequist can be e-mailed at or can be followed on Twitter at

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