FRANKFORT — It’s time to put on your old blue jeans and work boots and participate in this year’s Commonwealth Cleanup Week March 16-23.
Volunteers from across Kentucky are set to fill trash bags and pick up old tires during the 15th annual event.
The week-long initiative is implemented by the Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC) and kicks off the Great American Cleanup, which spans from March through May. Its purpose is to provide Kentucky communities with an opportunity to “spring clean,” recycle and promote personal responsibility across the commonwealth.
EEC Secretary Len Peters said Commonwealth Cleanup Week encourages Kentuckians to take ownership of their communities’ environment. “I am impressed each year with the number of Kentuckians who participate in this annual event. Thousands give their time to numerous cleanup projects, picking up litter and trash from our roadways, valley and streams, and recycling where possible.”
During the 2012 cleanup week, more than 28,000 Kentuckians picked up 65,392 bags of trash and 6,053 tires along 5,546 miles of roadway. In addition, these same volunteers cleaned 12 illegal dumps.
Kentucky Educational Television (KET) once again will promote this year’s event, and Kentucky Life host Dave Shuffett will be taping a special “Dave Does It” segment during Commonwealth Cleanup Week.
In addition, Clark County solid waste coordinator and songwriter Gary Epperson, has penned a song, “Bluegrass is Going Green,” with a voiceover featuring Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear to be used in public service announcements. You can see the PSA online at http://waste.ky.gov/RLA/Pages/CCW.aspx.
Heidi Douglas Greer with the Kentucky Mountain Trio, a group of young musicians from McCreary and Whitley counties, add their voices to the production. Greer also has another environmental litter awareness music video, Please Don’t Litter, which is currently being used around the country for litter abatement awareness campaigns. You can see an example on the Keep Michigan Beautiful’s website at www.keepmichiganbeautiful.org.
“We need every citizen, business, school, government body and organization to join together as one team with a mission that together is our only chance to ever ‘Get and Keep our Beautiful Bluegrass State of Kentucky Clean and Green,’” said Epperson.
Nonprofit groups that register with their county solid waste coordinator and complete a Commonwealth Cleanup Week cleanup are eligible to win one of six $100 cash prizes in a random drawing to be held in May.
Bell County Solid Waste will participate beginning Monday. Hours will be extended daily through Friday until 5 p.m. The Transfer Station will be open for the public from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on March 24.
All households are encouraged to participate in cleanup efforts during the week. Residents of Bell County may dump at the Transfer Station free of charge for cleanup during this time. There is however a charge for building material such as shingles, wood, lumber, sheet rock, tires, gas tanks, carpet, etc.
Non-profit groups will be eligible for a random drawing for one of six cash prizes. Eligible groups include civic, religious, charitable organizations and other non-profit groups. Non-profit groups should pick up survey forms at the solid waste office, select a project, complete the project and submit the survey form back to the solid waste coordinator to be signed to be eligible for the prize drawing.