Harrisburg, PA – Pick Up Pennsylvania, a program of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, runs from September 1 through November 30.
During this time, residents are encouraged to improve their communities by picking up litter. The program supports the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup, the largest volunteer-based cleanup focusing on the health of the world’s waterways and oceans.
Cleanups can be along waterways or be land-based since a significant portion of waterway pollution originates on land. When it rains, trash on sidewalks and streets accumulates and can be swept into storm drains. Most storm drain systems discharge directly into the nearest creek or river, eventually flowing to the ocean taking all the trash with it.
According to the Ocean Conservancy, if we don’t act now, there could be a pound of plastic for every three pounds of fish in the ocean within the next decade. Litter that makes it’s way to our waterways harms physical habitats, transports chemical pollutants, threatens aquatic life, and interferes with human uses of river, marine and coastal environments.
“We need to stop litter at it’s source before it reaches our waterways and ultimately our oceans. Many cleanups and community improvement events were cancelled or postponed this spring, making the need for increased participation even greater this fall. Now, in addition to bottles, cans and wrappers, there are gloves, masks and wipes. We need to do better and not litter in the first place, but everyone’s participation would make a difference. If we don’t clean up now, who knows what we will be facing this spring,” said Shannon Reiter, President of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful. “Litter is much more than an eyesore. We are finding out that litter, especially plastic, ends up in our food and drinking water. Litter has a huge impact on our health and safety and our economy.”
Registered clean up events receive free trash bags, gloves and safety vests provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, PennDOT, Keep America Beautiful, GLAD Products Company and the Ocean Conservancy, as supplies last.
Participants are encouraged to observe the most recent local, state and federal guidelines and/or restrictions to reduce the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and are encouraged to clean up in small groups, with family members or solo.
To host or join a cleanup event near you visit keeppabeautiful.org and choose Pick Up Pennsylvania. Questions can be answered by Michelle Dunn, Pick Up Pennsylvania Program Coordinator, at 877-772-3673 ext. 113 or [email protected].
Current 2020 Pick Up Pennsylvania supporters include: Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania funded by the NiSource Charitable Foundation, Coca-Cola, The GIANT Company, Pennsylvania Waste Industries Association, Sheetz, Wawa, Weis Markets, Mahantango Enterprises, Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association, Wegmans Food Markets, Giant Eagle, Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority, Luminant, a subsidiary of Vistra Corporation and Republic Services.
If you are interested in becoming a Keep Pennsylvannia Beautiful program supporter contact Barb Christner at 724-836-4121 or [email protected].
About Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful
Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful’s mission is empowering Pennsylvanians to keep our communities clean and beautiful. Since 1990, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful and its volunteers have removed over 147 million pounds of litter from Pennsylvania’s roadways, greenways, parks, forests, and waterways. To learn more about Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, visit www.keeppabeautiful.org.