Environmental Protection

KAB's Great American Cleanup Calls on Volunteers

Throughout the months of March, April, and May, an anticipated 1,200 Keep America Beautiful affiliates and participating organizations will rally an estimated 3 million volunteers to hold litter and debris cleanups on public lands and waterways, host recycling drives, spruce up community amenities like parks and playgrounds, remove graffiti, plant trees and community gardens, and host many more activities designed to improve the living environments that we all call "home."

The 2010 Great American Cleanup campaign theme, "Green Starts Here," is a rallying call that encourages volunteer groups, community leaders, and people of all ages and walks of life to begin creating more sustainable communities through their efforts as volunteers and their daily choices and actions.

"Community greening began with the beautification movement of the 1950s and '60s, and even then, Keep America Beautiful was leading the charge," said Matthew McKenna, president and chief executive officer of Keep America Beautiful. "Today, we realize that these efforts don't just create beautiful places, they create a healthier environment, build stronger communities, inspire sustainable behaviors, motivate people to volunteer service, and improve quality of life. The Great American Cleanup captures the energy and enthusiasm of today's powerful and growing green movement."

In 2009, more than 3 million volunteers in 32,000 communities took part in the Great American Cleanup, collecting 64 million pounds of litter and debris, much of which was recycled. More than 243 million plastic bottles and 6.9 million pounds of electronics were collected, volunteers kept 14.5 million pounds of aluminum and steel out of landfills, and 36 million pounds of newspaper were collected for recycling as well. Volunteers also greened-up their communities by creating or improving 6,400 gardens, xeriscapes, and green spaces. A full list of 2009 results can be found online at online.

The National Sponsors of the 2010 Great American Cleanup are: The Dow Chemical Company; The Glad Products Company; Nestle® Pure Life® Purified Water; o.b. ® tampons; Pepsi-Cola Company; The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company; Solo Cup Company; Troy-Bilt® Lawn and Garden Equipment; Waste Management, Inc.; Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co.; Promotional Partners: Crescent Art and Framing Products and Get Green Racing; and Educational Partner: Rubber Manufacturers Association.

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