KAB’s Great American Cleanup is a success
More than 3.8 million volunteers and participants
joined hands to produce more vibrant, beautiful and cleaner communities
during Keep America Beautiful’s 2011 Great American Cleanup.
The 2011 results have been tallied with volunteers donating more
than 5.2 million hours at 30,600 events in 16,500 communities
throughout all 50 states.
The Great American Cleanup, which takes place
annually from March through May, succeeds because volunteers
take action towards meaningful change in their communities. As
many local and state government budgets tightened in 2011, those
volunteer hours are even more important.
“Americans have always risen to our challenges,
and volunteer service is an important way that anyone can contribute
to a better workplace, a better school, and a better community,”
said Matthew M. McKenna, president and CEO of Keep America Beautiful.
The 2011 Great American Cleanup results demonstrate
the role of volunteers in reinforcing civic pride:
- 177 million pounds of litter and debris were removed from
public lands and rights-of-way, including 177,000 acres of parks
and public lands (150 percent increase over 2010), more than
12,000 acres of wetlands (16 percent increase) and 3,800 miles
of hiking, biking and nature trails (12 percent increase).
- 2,800 playgrounds and community recreation areas were improved,
restored or constructed.
- 6,400 illegal dump sites were remediated.
The Great American Cleanup encourages and
emphasizes the role of recycling in recovering valuable resources,
reducing energy consumption, and fostering community sustainability.
- More than 290 million plastic (PET) bottles were collected
for recycling, many through school-based programs. This total
represents a 9 percent increase over 2010.
- The 7.9 million pounds of electronics collected for recycling
represented a 10 percent increase over 2010. Moreover, volunteers
kept 13.4 million pounds of aluminum and steel out of landfills
through their collection efforts.
- 12.1 million pounds of glass were collected for recycling,
as well as more than 800,000 scrap tires.
Recognizing that green spaces and gardens
contribute to better economies, healthier citizens and greater
civic pride, volunteers grabbed tools and got to work:
- 5,600 beautification and greening projects were undertaken,
with 728 edible community gardens planted or replanted.
- 1.5 million flowers and bulbs, and 166,000 trees were planted
to create lasting beauty.
- 10,100 graffiti sites were remediated.