Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Department of Transportation (PennDOT) need volunteers for “Pick Up Pennsylvania,” a campaign of small-group or solo litter cleanup events, running from September 1 to November 30.
Both state agencies say volunteers must take proper steps to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, including wearing masks, practicing social distancing and limiting outdoor groups to 250 people or fewer.
DEP, PennDOT, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, and other partners sponsor “Pick Up Pennsylvania” events each spring and fall.
"The Covid-19 pandemic brought twin challenges to our litter cleanup efforts this spring. It put group cleanup events on hold, while at the same time, littering increased in state parks and many other places as more people pursued outdoor activities," DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell said. “So DEP is doubly excited to support this fall campaign, encouraging small-group or individual litter cleanup activities. Many Pennsylvanians care about litter and the problems it causes. Their actions in cleaning up litter make their communities safer, healthier, and more inviting; reduce stormwater runoff pollution; and help reduce the damage that litter does to wildlife, particularly aquatic life."
Registered “Pick Up Pennsylvania” events can get free trash bags, gloves, and safety vests provided by DEP, PennDOT, Keep America Beautiful, GLAD Products Company, and the Ocean Conservancy, as supplies last.
The fall 2019 Pick Up Pennsylvania campaign included 12,610 volunteers who coordinated 382 events across the state. They removed 488,135 pounds of trash from Pennsylvania’s watersheds and waterways, preventing litter and trash from making its way downstream and eventually ending up in our oceans.
In the spring and fall 2019 campaigns, the PennDOT Adopt-A-Highway program contributed 20,404 volunteers, who cleaned up nearly 16 percent of the collected litter on 10,576 miles of cleaned-up roadway.
PennDOT has created a comprehensive web page that includes all volunteer opportunities available, from Pick Up Pennsylvania and Adopt-A-Highway to Safety Training, Litter Brigades and more. Find it at www.penndot.gov.