DEP Secretary Urges Pennsylvanians to Join Great PA Cleanup

HARRISBURG – Environmental Protection Secretary Kathleen A. McGinty encouraged residents to clean up their communities and improve the quality of life by participating in the Great Pennsylvania Cleanup on April 21. Earth Day is April 22.

Feature cleanup events are scheduled for April 21. Other events may be scheduled through May 31.

“Let’s Pick It Up, PA!” is the theme this year.

“Cleanup groups are registering at a record pace, with almost 650 community cleanup events already scheduled,” McGinty said. “The 2007 Great Pennsylvania Cleanup promises to be another huge success, and I urge residents across the state to join me by celebrating Earth Day to help renew the beauty of our communities and public areas.”

The Great Pennsylvania Cleanup — an ambitious statewide effort to remove litter and trash from the state’s roadways, parks, forests, riverbanks, neighborhoods, open spaces and schools — is supported and sponsored by the Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful alliance, a wide range of businesses, trade organizations, civic and environmental groups, and local and state governments, including DEP, PennDOT, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Department of Education. This year’s initiative includes a focus on Litter-Free School Zones, a new program in which schools agree to check and remove litter from campus grounds weekly. Schools also promote all campus events as litter-free events.

“By pitching in together, we can lift up the quality of life in our great communities and boost the commonwealth’s economic competitiveness,” McGinty said. “With this year’s emphasis on cleaning up schools, we can work alongside our children in the Great Pennsylvania Cleanup and learn together that everyone has a role to play in keeping our neighborhoods clean.”

Last year during the Great Pennsylvania Cleanup more than 132,000 volunteers from all 67 counties removed 6.7 million pounds of trash from roads, parks, schools, waterways, wildlife areas and communities.

This year’s Great Pennsylvania Cleanup offers exciting incentives for groups that register their events and report the results. Random drawings will be held to award gift cards from a growing number of Pennsylvania businesses sponsoring the Great Pennsylvania Cleanup. PennDOT will distribute free work gloves, safety vests and trash bags to registered cleanup groups. PennDOT will also provide a comprehensive safety package to groups interested in roadside and other cleanups.

Visit the Great Pennsylvania Cleanup Web site to find or register a cleanup event and obtain a Litter-Free School Zone program application. Information is also available by calling toll-free 888-548-8372.

The Web site has everything event leaders need to get organized, including information to help groups and individuals with registration and promotion of local cleanups, safety information, links to other cleanup organizations, a wide variety of promotional materials and lesson plans for teachers.

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