People in Suffolk have the opportunity to take advantage of the warmer weather, clean up their town and be part of a bigger movement at the end of the month.
The Great American Cleanup will take place again this year on March 25-26 across the region, organized by askhrgreen.org and coordinated locally by Keep Suffolk Beautiful.
This is a nationwide effort to encourage people to get out and clean up trash and trash in their city. There is no set time or place over the two days, so Suffolk residents are encouraged to get out with friends and family to clean up rubbish, whether by the side of their road, in a park preferred or in an area that requires special attention.
“People can choose to clean up in a park or another place they enjoy,” said Daniel McDonald, waste control coordinator at Suffolk Litter Control. “They can leave their trash bags there and we’ll come and pick them up and make it easier for them.”
Anyone who wishes to take part can receive all the necessary items, including bin bags, litter clips, gloves and reflective vests, from Suffolk Litter Control. People can also check out Suffolk Public Library’s waste collection kits which can accommodate a group of four. All that is needed to verify them is a library card.
Through this initiative, since 2019, volunteers have collected more than 47 tons of trash on Hampton Roads, according to askhrgreen.org. Last year, 115 Suffolk residents collected 141 bags of rubbish and 15 tires totaling 3,855 pounds of rubbish.
This cleanup offers many benefits for Suffolk as a whole, organizers say. With less litter scattered around, the town is more attractive to tourists and people who come to buy a house here. Waste can also enter waterways and clog storm drains, causing negative environmental impacts.
“There’s a sense of civic pride in keeping our city clean,” McDonald said. “It’s not just for other people visiting, but we’re doing it for ourselves and for the environment.”
Even though these particular dates are a specific initiative, garbage cleanup can take place all year round. According to McDonald, resources from Suffolk Litter Control and Suffolk Public Libraries are available year-round so Suffolk residents can always participate, no matter the day.
People are encouraged to sign up at askHRgreen.org/cleanup to help keep track of weekend efforts. People can also contact Suffolk Litter Control at [email protected] or 757-514-7604.