Hey America, You Clean Up Nice! Keep America Beautiful Launches 2015 Great American Cleanup, Nation’s Largest Community Improvement Program

by | Mar 18, 2015

STAMFORD, Conn. (March 18, 2015) — Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s leading nonprofit that builds and sustains clean, green and more beautiful communities, announced today the launch of the 2015 Great American Cleanup. Entering its 17th year, the Great American Cleanup is the country’s largest community improvement program that kicks off in more than 20,000 communities each spring.

Each year, the Keep America Beautiful Great American Cleanup engages more than 4 million volunteers and participants across the country to take action in their local communities to create positive change and lasting impact.  Led by more than 600 Keep America Beautiful affiliates and hundreds of other participating community-based organizations, Great American Cleanup events and education programs help to renew parks, trails and recreation areas, clean shorelines and waterways, remove litter and debris, reduce waste and increase recycling, and plant trees, flowers and community gardens, among other activities to inspire a new generation of community stewards.

“As the season turns to spring, we’re excited to launch another year of America’s largest community improvement program,” said Jennifer M. Jehn, president and CEO of Keep America Beautiful. “In 2014, the work of volunteers during Great American Cleanup events returned $179 million in measurable benefits across the participating communities. The Great American Cleanup makes a meaningful difference to the places in which we all live, work and play.”

In 2014, Great American Cleanup participants:

  • Removed 37 million pounds of litter and debris for safer, cleaner communities;
  • Cleaned 85,901 miles of streets, highways, trails, waterways and shorelines;
  • Cleaned and renewed 130,497 acres of parks, public lands and wetlands;
  • Collected more than 250 million pounds of items for recycling or reusing, including PET plastic bottles, electronics, newspaper and more; and
  • Planted 41, 000 trees and 1.5 million flowers and bulbs to strengthen a community’s green infrastructure.

Jehn concluded, “Keep America Beautiful believes that people and places are profoundly interconnected. Whether you live in a big city, a suburb or a small rural town, the Great American Cleanup is a shining example of how lasting, positive change happens when people work together.”

National sponsors of the 2015 Great American Cleanup include Altria, BNSF Railway, Dow, The Glad Products Company, Lowe’s and Niagara Bottling. 

More than 40,000 Great American Cleanup events will be held nationwide starting in March and continuing through fall. Individuals interested in participating in an event, such as those upcoming examples listed below, can visit kab.org /gac to learn more about their local Keep America Beautiful affiliate and local Great American Cleanup events:

  • Keep Winston-Salem Beautiful, NC (March 21): Volunteers will clean up streets, parks, streams and schools throughout the city.
  • Keep Pinellas Beautiful and Tampa Bay Watch, FL (March 21): Cleanup of the shoreline of Fort De Soto Park and Cunningham Key, collect fishing line and debris from the recycling stations on the fishing piers at the Sunshine Skyway. Fishing line that is collected will then be recycled.
  • Keep Las Cruces Beautiful, NM (April 11): 23rd annual citywide cleanup.
  • Keep McAllen Beautiful, TX (April 11): Cleanup of Municipal Park in McAllen and cleaning throughout the valley.
  • Keep Islip Clean, NY (April 18):  26th Annual Brook Street Wetlands Cleanup of area bordering environmentally sensitive wetlands.
  • Keep Greater Milwaukee Beautiful, WI (April 18): Volunteers will kick-off the Great American Cleanup by cleaning Washington Park and the surrounding neighborhood.
  • Keep Mississippi Beautiful/Keep Ridgeland Beautiful, MS (April 24): Statewide kickoff of the Great American Cleanup, volunteers will work to clean and green Ridgeland.
  • Keep Covington Beautiful, KY (April 25): Cleanup events throughout the city during Covington’s largest annual day of service.
  • Keep Bristol Beautiful, TN (April 25): Community cleanup, document shredding, prescription disposal, tire recycling, and household hazardous waste collection. 
  • Keep Los Angeles Beautiful, CA (March – May): Launching its Spring Clean L.A. campaign to collect electronic waste, universal waste, and household hazardous waste at City of Los Angeles S.A.F.E. (Solvents, Automotive, Flammables, Electronics) Centers.

About Keep America Beautiful
At Keep America Beautiful, we want to ensure that beauty is our lasting signature. A leading national nonprofit, Keep America Beautiful inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment. We envision a country where every community is a clean, green, and beautiful place to live. Established in 1953, Keep America Beautiful provides the expertise, programs and resources to help people end littering in America, improve recycling in America, and beautify America’s communities. The organization is driven by the work and passion of more than 600 community-based Keep America Beautiful affiliates, millions of volunteers, and the support of corporate partners, municipalities, elected officials, and individuals.