(July 2, 2020) – As residents of Pennsylvania seek recreation in public spaces, including parks and trails, this Independence Day weekend, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful issued an urgent reminder to properly dispose of trash and litter as they participate in 4th of July celebrations.
“As we approach a holiday weekend, we want to remind everyone that we all must continue to do our part to keep our parks, trails, waterways and streets safe and clean. It is imperative that we stay vigilant and properly dispose of litter, including PPE, and recyclables that could spread the novel coronavirus,” said Shannon Reiter, President of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful. “Any bottles, cans, wrappers and even cardboard and plastic left behind after fireworks displays can be a health hazard and potentially harm wildlife. If you pack it in, you can pack it out.”
In addition to being a health hazard, there is a cost associated with cleaning up litter.
A Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful report supported by the Richard King Mellon Foundation and the participating cities, The Cost of Litter and Illegal Dumping in Pennsylvania, documented that just nine Pennsylvania cities collectively spent $68 million to prevent and cleanup litter. In addition, PennDOT spent over $65 million removing litter and debris from within highway rights of way across the state over a five-year period. Among other things, this litter pollutes our environment and affects our quality of life.
“Rarely do we think about the economic impact of litter. There is little doubt that our park and municipal personnel will be busy cleaning up our parks and neighborhoods next week. This money would be better spent elsewhere,” said Reiter.
For residents who would like to participate in safe and solo cleanups, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful has a variety of cleanup tools and resources available, including cleanup safety guidelines on their website’s cleanup resources page: https://www.keeppabeautiful.org/keep-pennsylvania-beautiful-clean-it/keep-pennsylvania-beautiful-clean-it-cleanup-tools-and-resources/, or go to keeppabeautiful.org and choose Clean It, then Cleanup Tools and Resources.
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.