Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful: As Public Spaces Reopen, Proper Disposal of Litter and Recyclables Remains Imperative

(May 20, 2020) – As Pennsylvania counties move forward with plans to reopen parts of their economies and more people go outdoors and seek recreation in public spaces this Memorial Day weekend, including parks and trails, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful issued an urgent reminder to residents of Pennsylvania to properly dispose of trash and litter as they venture outside.

“As more counties roll out plans to reopen portions of their communities and we approach a holiday weekend, we want to remind everyone that we all must continue to do our part to keep our parks, waterways and streets safe and clean. As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to pose an ongoing threat, it is imperative that we stay vigilant and properly dispose of litter and recyclables that could spread the virus,” said Shannon Reiter, President of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful.  “Any bottles, cans, wrappers, or napkins can be a health hazard and potentially harm wildlife if left behind for someone else to pick up. If you pack it in, you can pack it out.”

She also discouraged people from picking up wipes or gloves without litter collection devices, gloves, or the ability to immediately wash and sanitize your hands, because the items could be contaminated. “If you use PPE, it’s your responsibility to dispose of it in a trash can,” she said. Keep America Beautiful issued an alert on how to properly dispose of PPE, noting it can hurt the environment and could spread COVID-19. Read the alert here.

Since stay at home orders were issued on April 1 due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful has received 107 reports identifying illegal dumpsites in 40 different counties across the state. Twelve percent of the sites are located on state park, state forest, or game lands. lllegal dumping and/or graffiti can be reported through their Illegal Dump Free PA program https://illegaldumpfreepa.org/report-it/.

“Documenting illegal dumpsites is a critical step in educating people about littering and illegal dumping on our lands and waters and ultimately in helping to restore the natural beauty of our state. Please be a good steward and if you see an illegal dumpsite, report it,” said Shannon Reiter, President of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful.

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful recommends checking locally to understand what recycling services are currently available in your community. “Recyclables are needed in the supply chain to make more products and packaging, especially during these challenging times,” Reiter said.

For more information about Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, visit www.keeppabeautiful.org.

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.   

About Keep America Beautiful
Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s leading community improvement nonprofit organization, inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment. Established in 1953, Keep America Beautiful strives to End Littering, Improve Recycling and Beautify America’s Communities. We believe everyone has a right to live in a clean, green and beautiful community, and shares a responsibility to contribute to that vision. The organization is driven by the work and passion of more than 650 Keep America Beautiful affiliates, millions of volunteers, and the collaborative support of corporate partners, social and civic service organizations, academia, municipalities, elected officials, and individuals. Join us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Donate and take action at kab.org.

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