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'Pick It Up PA Days' Perfect Time to Cleanup Your Community

Friday March 2nd, 2018
Keeping a community trash-free is a good way to show local pride and make your township attractive. And while that task requires constant attention, “Pick It Up PA Days,” April 7-30, offers the perfect opportunity to put extra focus on keeping your township clean.
Local governments, individuals, civic groups, businesses, and other organizations are encouraged to remove litter and trash during this special event. Target areas can include roads, parks, forests, river or stream banks, neighborhoods, and open spaces.
This three-week statewide initiative is part of the Great American Cleanup, which runs March through May. 
Sponsored by Keep America Beautiful Inc., the Great American Cleanup is the nation’s largest community improvement program. Each year, millions of volunteers collect litter and debris from roadsides, parks, and public lands; clean up illegal dump sites; recycle thousands of tons of metal and tires; and plant trees and flowers.
Keeping Pennsylvania beautiful
In Pennsylvania, the three-month cleanup is supported and sponsored by the Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Alliance, a range of businesses, trade organizations, and local and state government entities, including the state departments of Environmental Protection and Transportation. 
More than 132,000 volunteers participated in last year’s effort, collecting 5.3 million pounds of trash in more than 7,000 cleanup projects.
Volunteers cleaned up litter along 11,168 miles of roads, railroad tracks, trails, waterways, and shorelines and removed more than 20,000 tires from the landscape. They also planted more than 16,000 trees, flowers, and bulbs to improve their communities.
Townships that decide to “Pick It Up PA” will have plenty of support. For example: 
• PennDOT’s district and county offices will provide free bags, gloves, and vests to registered cleanup groups.
• Participating landfills will allow free or discounted disposal of trash collected during registered events.
• County recycling coordinators, conservation districts, cooperative extension offices, and other environmental groups will answer questions and help organize cleanups.
Getting involved
Townships should consider asking local community organizations, such as Scout troops and church groups, to roll up their sleeves and lend a hand. Business owners might be willing to donate supplies, such as paint, T-shirts, or refreshments.
Popular cleanup activities include:
• planting trees or flower bulbs at a township building or intersection;
• painting a graffiti-marked wall;
• sponsoring a litter collection contest;
• picking up litter along a local road;
• cleaning up a stream, field, or other area that has become an illegal dump site and then posting signs warning against illegal dumping; or
• placing garbage cans in litter-prone areas and arranging for them to be emptied regularly.
Registering events
To learn more about how your township can mobilize residents to help clean up the community, go to www.gacofpa.org. Here, townships can register their activities, find other events in the area, and get tips on holding a successful cleanup.
Townships may also contact Michelle Dunn of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful toll-free at (877) 772-3673, ext. 113, or email mdunn@keeppabeautiful.org.