HARRISBURG — The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection is encouraging all Pennsylvanians to join in a statewide effort to clean up communities and the environment.
The Great American Cleanup of PA is an annual event that urges Pennsylvanians to voluntarily clean up trash and litter from roadways, streams, parks, forests and neighborhoods. This year’s event began March 1 and ends May 31.
“Spring cleaning is an annual ritual in many households,” said DEP acting Secretary Michael Krancer. “I encourage everyone to participate in this annual outdoor spring cleanup. Our efforts can make a noticeable difference and make our communities and our environment cleaner, safer and more enjoyable for all Pennsylvanians.”
The cleanup effort receives support from DEP, Keep America Beautiful and the Pennsylvania Department Transportation (PennDOT). Events consist of litter cleanups, illegal dump cleanups, beautification projects, special collections, and educational events.
Conservation organizations, school and youth groups, businesses, hunting and fishing clubs, community and civic associations, and sports teams that register their cleanup events are eligible to receive free gloves and trash bags to assist in their cleanup efforts. Events must be registered online at www.gacofpa.org to receive the free cleanup supplies.
DEP and the PA Waste Industries Association also sponsor “Let’s Pick It Up PA – Everyday.” From April 16-30, participating landfills will waive fees to dispose of trash collected by volunteers.
Last year, more than 186,000 volunteers from all 67 counties participated in nearly 5,000 events, collecting more than 12-million pounds of trash. They cleaned more than 19,000 miles of roads, railroad tracks, trails, waterways, and shorelines, and 6,000 acres of parks and wetlands. Volunteers also planted more than 21,000 trees, bulbs, and plants in an effort to keep Pennsylvania beautiful.
More than 54-million pounds of litter and waste have been removed from Pennsylvania’s landscape and tens of thousands of trees, bulbs, and flowers have been planted since the inception of the cleanup event in 2004.
“Pennsylvania is blessed with many beautiful and bountiful forests, parks, streams and rivers,” said Krancer. “Through the spirit of civic pride and community cooperation, Pennsylvanians will enjoy those natural resources for generations to come.”
To register your event, find an event near you, or to find additional resources, visit www.gacofpa.org.