DECEMBER 2009

KAB announces 2009 clean up results

Take over 3 million volunteers and participants, and 1,000 grassroots organizations, provide them with the tools and motivation to make their hometown a better place, mix in 5.2 million volunteer hours, sweat, grit and elbow grease, and watch as communities flourish with a cleaner environment, civic pride and enhanced natural beauty.

National nonprofit Keep America Beautiful’s 2009 Great American Clean Up accomplished this and more, with more than 30,000 events taking place in 32,000 communities nationwide.

The 2009 campaign, themed “Green Starts Here,” encouraged communities to declare that being “green” begins with the actions of individuals. It can start with an educational event, a litter cleanup, recycling drive, graffiti paint-out, planting a community garden or planting just one tree. Great movements, claimed event organizers, begin with small actions. The results offer proof. In the program’s three months (March 1 through May 31):

  • 64 million pounds of litter and debris were removed from public lands and rights-of-way, including 95,000 acres of parks and public lands,
  • Nearly 9,000 miles of rivers, lakes and shorelines, over 10,000 acres of wetlands, and 7,800 miles of hiking, biking and nature trails;
  • 3,200 parks and community recreation areas were improved, restored or constructed;
  • 4,750 illegal dump sites were remediated.
  • More than 243 million plastic (PET) bottles were collected for recycling, many through school- based programs, which is nearly 30 percent more than were collected in 2008.
  • The 6.9 million pounds of electronics collected for recycling represented a 30 percent increase over 2008.
  • Moreover, volunteers kept 14.5 million pounds of aluminum and steel out of landfills through their collection efforts, a 42 percent increase.
  • 870,000 tires were collected for recycling.
  • 36 million pounds of newspaper were collected for recycling.