Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Keep PA Beautiful Adoption Program Helps Reduce Local Litter Cleanup Costs

Many of the costs associated with cleaning up litter falls to the local municipality.
Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful’s Adoption Program helps mitigate those costs by providing residents the tools and resources needed to be stewards of their communities. 

The program is available statewide for municipal roads, parks, neighborhood blocks, greenways, waterways and trails. 

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful provides a sign recognizing the volunteers’ efforts and seeks the support of the local municipalities to provide the sign post, install the sign and provide trash disposal options as needed.

Litter affects the health and safety of humans and wildlife, is visually unappealing and sends a message that no one cares. Once it reaches our waterways, it transports chemical pollutants, threatens aquatic life, and interferes with river, marine and coastal environments. Litter also carries an economic impact. 

According to Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful’s 2019 study, The Cost of Littering and Illegal Dumping in Pennsylvania, just nine cities in Pennsylvania spend $68 million annually on cleanup, education, enforcement and prevention efforts to address litter and illegal dumping. 

In addition, the Department of Transportation spent over $65 million removing litter from within highway rights-of-way between 2014 and 2018.  

A pre-pandemic statewide study on litter, conducted by the Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Transportation and Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful estimates 502 million pieces of litter on Pennsylvania roadways, most of it cigarette butts and plastic items. 

To that, we can now add littered masks and gloves. 

Among other things, this litter pollutes our environment and affects our quality of life. Individuals, civic groups, families, scouts and students can be part of the solution by adopting and caring for a local road or area.

“We are all tired of seeing litter. When we take the initiative to pick up litter in our neighborhoods we see an immediate improvement. It not only helps prevent litter from reaching our waterways, but sends a strong message that littering will not be tolerated. The benefits of removing roadside litter are broad. It removes dangers to people, animals and maintenance equipment, makes our communities more attractive for residents, tourists and potential newcomers and increases property values and community pride. It really benefits everyone,” said Shannon Reiter, President of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful. 

Until the threat of COVID 19 passes, the group suggests doing a cleanup either solo or with household family members and encourages adhering to the recommendations for social distancing. 

All that is needed is a trash bag, gloves and bright colored clothing, if you are cleaning up near a roadway.

For more information about adopting a municipal road, park, neighborhood block, greenway, waterway or trail, visit KPB’s Adoption webpage or contact Stephanie Larson by sending email to: slarson@keeppabeautiful.org  or call 877-772-3673 x104. 

For information about adopting a state maintained road, visit PennDOT”s Adopt-a-Highway webpage.

For more information on programs, initiatives and special events, visit the Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful website. Click Here to become a member.  Click Here to sign up for regular updates from KPB, Like them on Facebook, Follow on Twitter, Discover them on Pinterest and visit their YouTube Channel.

Also visit the Illegal Dump Free PA website for more ideas on how to clean up communities and keep them clean and KPB’s Electronics Waste website.

The  2020 Pick Up Pennsylvania Initiative is now going on through November 30.  Questions should be directed to Michelle Dunn at 1-877-772-3673 Ext. 113 or send email to: mdunn@keeppabeautiful.org.

Keep PA Beautiful helps mobilize over 100,000 volunteers a year to pick up litter, clean up illegal dumping and beautify Pennsylvania.

[Posted: October 20, 2020]  PA Environment Digest

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