Franklin County residents can help clean up next Saturday

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot

“Let’s Pick It Up, PA!” is the theme of the Great American Cleanup’s anti-litter campaign and call for volunteers in Pennsylvania. The Great American Cleanup of Pennsylvania is a statewide cleanup campaign involving local and state government, businesses, waste haulers and environmental and civic groups.

PennDOT and DEP, in cooperation with Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, Inc., sponsor the Great American Cleanup Program. Though the formal campaign covers three months from the beginning of March to the end of May, the focal point of the campaign is the “Pick It Up, PA!” Day on April 21 when all volunteers across the state are encouraged to get outdoors and pick up litter and help clean up their communities.

Along with Earth Day, the Great American Cleanup is a national campaign to remove litter and trash from roadsides, parks, river banks and open spaces. Unsightly litter and other debris left over from the winter is a very visible problem this time of the year. For people who want to do something about it, the Great American Cleanup offers an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors while at the same time joining others to help clean up the environment. A website offers volunteers a wonderful resource as well as free cleanup supplies.

For those interested in volunteering for the Great American Cleanup, it starts with a visit on the Internet at www.gacofpa.org

The Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Alliance created the Great American Cleanup website to assist individuals and groups with registration and promotion of local cleanups. Let’s Pick It Up PA is a two week event within the Great American Cleanup.  Sponsored by DEP and the Pennsylvania Waste Industries Association, Let’s Pick It Up PA Days will occur from April 21 through May 7. It is during this two week period that trash collected at registered events can be disposed free of charge at participating landfills.  A link to the participating landfills is provided to the coordinator after an event is registered in the event confirmation .The site also contains safety information, links to other cleanup organizations, a downloadable logo, lesson plans for teachers, and contacts at PennDOT to obtain supplies.

PENNDOT provides registered volunteers with safety vests, gloves and trash bags for picking up litter. At the end of the cleanup effort along state roads, PENNDOT crews will collect and dispose of the trash bags.  

“Volunteers can make a difference,” said Mike Keiser, PennDOT’s district executive for south central Pennsylvania. “Thousands of residents joined together last year to make the cleanup campaign a success. Whether you join an existing cleanup group or organize a group of your own, everyone can help make this year’s cleanup a success and make Pennsylvania a nicer and more attractive place to live, work and enjoy.”

Individuals or organizations without access to the Internet can make arrangements to volunteer by calling Franklin County coordinator Valerie Stum at 264-4171.