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2013-03-14 digital edition

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2013-03-14 / General Stories

Texans Create Cleaner, Greener Communities through the Great American Cleanup

Keep America Beautiful’s Great American Cleanup (GAC) is the nation’s largest community improvement program, taking place annually from March 1 through May 31. Keep Texas Beautiful (KTB) is a state affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, and administers the Great American Cleanup program for Texas.

Great American Cleanup activities can include beautifying parks and recreation areas, planting trees, removing graffiti, picking up litter, cleaning waterways, handling recycling collections and conducting education programs. The GAC is open to all Texas communities, and events can involve volunteers from all walks of life, such as school groups, garden clubs, Scouts, business leaders and community groups.

Online registration is now available through Keep Texas Beautiful at www.ktb.org. Local organizations can schedule events in their communities and gain access to valuable resources to plan, promote and host an event. Participants can receive trash bags, volunteer giveaways, promotional items, and more to assist in facilitating their cleanup event. Participants may also elect to post their event information on the KTB event calendar. Individuals and community groups who wish to volunteer may view the KTB calendar to find an opportunity in their area.

In 2012, 3,274 Great American Cleanup events were held in Texas, with 113,357 volunteers contributing 552,033 hours. More than 18 million pounds of waste was collected and recycling events collected more than 2.6 million pounds of electronics, 17,161 pounds of batteries, and 150,427 tires. Over 2 million pounds of paper, 717,233 pounds of plastic and 1 million pounds of metal were also collected. Additionally, awareness events and workshops were held, graffiti was abated, buildings were painted and repaired or removed, community gardens, flowers and trees planted and illegal dump sites were cleaned.

“KTB’s goal for 2013 is to surpass our results from last year for waste collected, community greening efforts and items recycled. With our outreach efforts, we hope to engage even more communities from across Texas in this important program,” said Julio Reyes, KTB President.

Keep Texas Beautiful, a statewide grassroots environmental and community improvement nonprofit, strives to educate and engage Texans to take responsibility for improving their community environment. KTB and its more than 360 affiliate communities work with government, businesses, civic groups and volunteers to ensure that every Texan has the opportunity to make Texas the cleanest, most beautiful state in the nation.

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