(WPVI ABC6 Philadelphia) "Somehow along the way, we've lost an education component of teaching people that you should never litter," said Beth Intoccia. "And if you do see litter, pick it up."
Intoccia was the leading force behind the formation of the Litter Lifters of West Vincent in 2020. It is a subcommittee of the Environmental Advisory Council of West Vincent Township.
"During the lockdown, we still wanted to get outside and get fresh air," she said. "We started picking up litter on the local roads, and the movement grew and we approached our township to say, hey, why don't we start a litter task force? And everybody was on board."
What started as a group of roughly 12 individuals has grown to include dozens of volunteers from various parts of Chester County. Even members of partner organizations like Keep Chester County Beautiful come out to participate. Volunteers are encouraged to bring canned goods to support a local food drive.
The local police and fire department helped to facilitate today's cleanup along Route 100 in West Vincent Township. There were also a handful of youth ambassadors who got their hands dirty to keep the streets clean.
"This is like a lifelong practice, so it's not just picking up trash. It's also the recycling at the home," said 17-year-old Naomi Tzoanos. "If you have that, like, perspective change and you really value your environment in a different way, that's how you can make positive change."
Volunteers are hoping that their grassroots efforts will create a ripple effect across neighboring communities.
"The biggest thing is, it's funneling into other townships saying, I see what they're doing, we want to do something like that," said Beth Intoccia. "So, take a look at what we're doing, consider coming out, and if you can't make an event, just pick up litter the next time you're out and about."
To learn more about the Litter Lifters of West Vincent, follow them on Instagram.