The Pennsylvania Departments of Transportation (PennDOT) and Environmental Protection (DEP) are seeking volunteers for this year’s Great American Cleanup of Pennsylvania that begins March 1 and runs through May 31.
The cleanup is sponsored each year by PennDOT, DEP, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful and other partners. Groups participating in PennDOT’s Adopt-A-Highway (AAH) program, which involves volunteers cleaning roadsides year round, are also encouraged to participate in the cleanup.
“Pennsylvania is a beautiful state, and it’s imperative that we work together to keep it that way,” PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards said. “I urge individuals to join the thousands of volunteers in their communities to participate in the cleanup this year to keep Pennsylvania not only esthetically beautiful, but environmentally safe.”
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.penndot.gov under “About Us.” Groups interested in adopting a locally maintained road, contact Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, www.keeppabeautiful.org under “Keep It.”
“In addition to litter pick-up events, volunteers also organize recycling events for hard to dispose of items, helping to reduce illegal dumping that threatens public health and damages the environment,” DEP Secretary John Quigley said. “Volunteers can also take part by planting bulbs and trees that not only beautify our green spaces but helps to prevent run off pollution to our waterways.”
Also as part of this year’s cleanup, the PA Route 6 Alliance encourages residents near the Route 6 Heritage Corridor to register at www.gacofpa.org for their “Route 6 Round-up” beautification efforts.
During last year’s Great American Cleanup, 6 million pounds of litter was collected from Pennsylvania’s roads, trails and shorelines by more than 128,000 volunteers. PennDOT’s AAH program contributed nearly 71,000 volunteers who cleaned up nearly 40 percent of the collected litter on 8,757 miles of cleaned-up roadway.
Through PennDOT’s AAH program, volunteers collect litter on a two-mile section of state highway at least two times a year. The program currently has over 6,000 participating groups, more than 111,000 volunteers and 13,973 miles of adopted state-maintained roadways.
Gloves, trash bags and safety vests are provided by PennDOT, DEP, and the GLAD Products Company, a national sponsor of Keep America Beautiful’s Great American Cleanup. In addition, during “Pick it Up PA Days” from April 16 to May 9, registered events have access to reduced or free disposal at participating landfills sponsored by PA DEP and the Pennsylvania Waste Industries Association.