Nearly 14,000 volunteers from 44 counties across Pennsylvania canvassed their communities to remove over 1 million pounds of trash and debris from Pennsylvania’s waterways and coastal regions during the 2015 International Coastal Cleanup.
Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful is proud to be the Pennsylvania statewide coordinator for International Coastal Cleanup, the world’s largest volunteer effort to improve the health of the world’s oceans and local waterways.
The cleanup gives citizens around the world the opportunity to clean up their local waterways and to be a part of a larger movement. (Photo: Elk County volunteers.)
From September through October, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful worked with local groups and organizations to coordinate 593 events throughout the state.
The top five types of trash, documented by volunteers, included: Cigarette Butts – 23,772; Food Wrappers (candy, chips, etc.) – 10,456; Plastic Beverage Bottles – 7,317; Glass Beverage Bottles – 7,149; and Bottle Caps (Plastic) – 5,147.
“The phrase we all live downstream is common, but in Pennsylvania it is a reality with our diverse topography and the amount of watersheds, small and large,” explained Shannon Reiter, President of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful.
A cleanup of the Clarion River in Elk County helped prevent 2,520 pounds of trash from making its way further downstream. Over two weekends in September, a group of 48 community volunteers also removed 4,500 pounds of metal, a stationary bike, aluminum camper pieces, buckets of unopened oil, a 5 gallon pail of paint primer, cardboard drums, aluminum trash cans, a dumpster and a large shed!
“Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful is an exceptional resource for individuals and groups wanting to make their communities a better place to live, work, play and, in this case, visit. The Clarion River is designated Wild and Scenic. Thousands of people use it each year, so it’s vital to keep it healthy and clean,” said Bekki Titchner, Elk County Recycling/Solid Waste Coordinator and PA CleanWays of Elk County Coordinator.
“Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful thanks all those involved in helping to prevent this litter from reaching our waterways,” said Reiter.
Funding for the International Coastal Cleanup coordination in Pennsylvania is provided by the Department of Environmental Protection, Waste Management and Coastal Resource Management Bureaus.For more information, visit Keep PA Beautiful’s International Coastal Cleanup webpage.