STAMFORD, Conn. (Nov. 10, 2010) — After months of tabulating data from all 50 states, the results are in. Nearly 4 million volunteers, working on behalf of thousands of local organizations across the nation, put in 5.7 million volunteer hours enriching their communities by making them cleaner, greener and safer during Keep America Beautiful’s 2010 Great American Cleanup™. With more than 30,000 events taking place in 33,700 communities nationwide, the scale of this national grassroots effort to revitalize neighborhoods and renew civic pride is enormous.
The 2010 campaign, themed “Green Starts Here,” encouraged communities to declare that being “green” begins with the actions of individuals. Through our daily choices,” green” can start with the planting of one tree or a community garden. It can start with an environmental educational event, a litter cleanup, recycling drive, graffiti paint-out, or a waterway renovation. Great movements, claimed event organizers, begin with small actions. The 2010 results, from data collected from the three-month program (March 1-May 31), offer evidence:
- 76 million pounds of litter and debris were removed from public lands and rights-of-way, including 70,000 acres of parks and public lands, nearly 7,000 miles of rivers, lakes and shorelines, over 10,000 acres of wetlands, and 3,400 miles of hiking, biking and nature trails.
- 3,100 playgrounds and community recreation areas were improved, restored or constructed.
- 6,500 illegal dump sites were remediated.
Across the board, recycling totals reached new heights in 2010 representing a greater emphasis by participants and communities on recovering valuable resources:
- More than 266 million plastic (PET) bottles were collected for recycling, many through school-based programs, the most plastic bottles ever collected during the Great American Cleanup.
- The 7.2 million pounds of electronics collected for recycling represented a 5 percent increase over 2009. Moreover, volunteers kept 15.3 million pounds of aluminum and steel out of landfills through their collection efforts, a 12 percent increase from 2009.
- 1.1 million tires were collected for recycling, a 22 percent increase from last year.
- Additionally, 15 million pounds of glass were recycled in the first year of recording data for this material.
Recognizing that greener communities are better places to live, and can contribute to better economies and greater civic pride, volunteers answered the call to national service, rolled up their sleeves, grabbed tools, and got to work:
- 5,600 gardens, xeriscapes and green spaces were created nationwide, and 129,000 trees were planted.
- 2 million flowers and bulbs were planted to create lasting beauty.
- 10,600 graffiti sites were remediated.
“Through the Great American Cleanup, millions of volunteers build bonds with their neighbors as they unite in a common purpose,” said Matthew M. McKenna, president and CEO of Keep America Beautiful. “Keep America Beautiful knows that its affiliates, other participating organizations and our national sponsors have brought a greater sense of ownership and pride to their respective communities, making them safer, cleaner and more beautiful.”
About Keep America Beautiful, Inc.
Keep America Beautiful, Inc., established in 1953, is the nation’s largest volunteer-based community action and education organization. This national nonprofit forms public-private partnerships and programs that engage individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community environments. The Great American Cleanup is KAB’s annual signature program that mobilizes millions of volunteers to improve their communities through hands-on participation. To join the Great American Cleanup and let green start with you, visit www.kab.org.