HARRISBURG – PennDOT and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) are seeking volunteers for this year’s Great American Cleanup of Pennsylvania effort that runs through May 31.
The statewide cleanup is an annual effort sponsored by PennDOT, DEP, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful and other partners through which interested individuals and groups can create cleanup events. Groups involved in PennDOT’s Adopt-A-Highway (AAH) program, which involves volunteers cleaning roadsides year round, are also encouraged to participate in the cleanup.
“These cleanup programs play a huge role in keeping Pennsylvania beautiful through cleaner roadsides and communities,” said PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch. “It’s my hope that more individuals get involved and join the thousands of dedicated volunteers who participate in these efforts year after year.”
In addition to the statewide cleanup, registered events have access to free disposal at participating landfills during “Pick it Up PA Days” from April 12 to May 5.
PennDOT provides gloves, trash bags and safety vests to AAH and Great American Cleanup of PA groups with funding from DEP’s Solid Waste Abatement Fund.
“DEP works every day to provide for the health and safety of Pennsylvanians through a cleaner environment,” DEP Secretary Chris Abruzzo said. “The Great American Cleanup of Pennsylvania is a great opportunity for volunteers across the state to join us in that effort.”
During last year’s Great American Cleanup, 6.1 million pounds of litter was collected from Pennsylvania’s roads, trails and shorelines by more than 137,000 volunteers. PennDOT’s AAH program contributed more than 72,000 volunteers who cleaned up more than 65 percent of the collected litter on 10,859 miles of cleaned up roadway.
Through the AAH program, volunteers collect litter on a two-mile section of state highway four times a year. The program currently has nearly 7,000 participating groups, more than 117,000 volunteers and 15,140 miles of adopted state-maintained roadways.
Interested individuals can find a listing of cleanup events, resources for organizing a cleanup and other information about the effort online at www.gacofpa.org.
Groups interested in adopting a section of highway are encouraged to contact their local PennDOT County Maintenance office and ask for the AAH coordinator, or visit www.dot.state.pa.us.