Keep America Beautiful Announces 24th Annual Great American Cleanup, the Nation’s Largest Community Improvement Program
STAMFORD, Conn. (March 7, 2022) – Keep America Beautiful®, the nation’s leading community improvement nonprofit organization, will launch the 24th annual Great American Cleanup® (GAC) Monday, March 21. GAC takes place annually with an estimated 500,000 volunteers taking part in 15,000 community events nationwide, thanks to the work done by the Keep America Beautiful (KAB) network of 700 affiliates and KAB partner organizations. GAC runs through June 22.
“The pride we have in this spring-cleaning movement is immeasurable, and we’re excited to see citizens from across the country work together to clean, green, and beautify America during the 24th annual Great American Cleanup,” said Keep America Beautiful Interim President and CEO, Becky Lyons. “It is through this program that a significant difference is made across America every spring, as the service projects heighten awareness about the vital importance of caring for our environment.”
Activities at planned GAC events include removing litter and debris from roadsides, highways, shorelines, and waterways; planting trees, flowers, and gardens; and cleaning and restoring nature trails, recreation areas, and playgrounds.
Results from the 2021 Great American Cleanup show the impact of the program, even during a pandemic:
- Number of Events: 9,977
- Number of Volunteers and Participants: 259,021
- Total Benefit to Communities: $51,277,013
- Total Number of Volunteer Hours: 1,448,655
- Pounds of Litter and Debris Collected: 14,649,481
- Pounds of Items Recycled: 8,232,158
- Acres of Parks, Public Lands, Playgrounds, and Trails Cleaned & Improved: 66,744
- Miles of Streets, Roads, and Highways Cleaned, Improved or Beautified: 23,456
- Number of Plants, Shrubs, Flowers, and Bulbs Planted: 127,856
- Number of Trees Planted: 3,677
Examples of 2022 Great American Cleanup events taking place:
- Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful: Pick Up Pennsylvania, a program of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, is taking place through May 31. Free work gloves, safety vests, and trash bags are given, while supplies last. Donated landfill space for trash collected during the cleanup is available for free or reduced cost between April 1 and April 30. Click here.
- Keep Oklahoma Beautiful: Keep Oklahoma Beautiful works with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation for ODOT TRASH-OFF, a statewide cleanup day on April 16 when Adopt-A-Highway groups, organizations, and communities volunteer to clean Oklahoma highways, roads, and community areas. Click here.
- PalmettoPride/Keep South Carolina Beautiful: Starting March 30 and serving as their official GAC kickoff event, PalmettoPride/Keep South Carolina Beautiful will host the kickoff for Grab A Bag SC in Laurens County with Lt. Governor Pamela Evette, Laurens County, the soon-to-be Keep Laurens County Beautiful, Laurens County Chamber of Commerce, and the South Carolina Department of Transportation. Their efforts support citizens of South Carolina grabbing a bag of any kind and cleaning up a portion of their community. Click here.
- Keep Charlotte Beautiful: On March 26, Keep Charlotte Beautiful in Florida will have a dumpster available for the litter that people have picked up, and they will also host a cleanup that day. The first 700 volunteers to register for GAC in the area will receive a Great American Cleanup shirt. Click here.
- Keep Brevard Beautiful: Keep Brevard Beautiful in Florida will host their 39th annual Trash Bash on April 9. Their GAC plans already kicked off with an art contest for the county’s middle and high school students. The students were tasked with creating a design that advocates for environmental protection, as well as communicate KBB’s mission and theme, “Keep the Sea Plastic Free.” The winner of this year’s contest is Alora Crane, a 10th-grader. Volunteer for Trash Bash with KBB: Click here.
Kicking off GAC 2022 will be a first-of-its-kind event on March 23 at Georgia Gwinnett College from 8 to 10 a.m. EST. Keep America Beautiful and Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful will host “Connecting People and Places: A Community Conversation About Litter.” The discussion, facilitated by environmental and social science research group, Responsive Management, will engage a focus group to explore the perceptions, attitudes, and recommended solutions to prevent litter. Register here.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Great American Cleanup event organizers have been provided clear guidance to ensure that volunteer health is our first priority. All cleanups will adhere to guidelines from federal, state, and local public health officials so timely and accurate information can guide safe and appropriate activities in each location.
Sponsors for the 2022 Great American Cleanup include: Altria, Diageo, Dogfish Head, Dow, Igloo, JOE by Joseph Abboud, McAllister, and Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co.
Find a local event and register as a volunteer by clicking here. If there are no events in your area, click here to find a local Keep America Beautiful affiliate or sign up here to conduct a Great American Cleanup event by yourself or with a small group on your own schedule. While supplies last, registrants will receive a free cleanup kit, which contains a litter picker, scale, reflective vest, liners, and work gloves.
Volunteers are encouraged to help spread the message of GAC by sharing photos on social media channels, using the hashtags #DoBeautifulThings, #HowIKeepAmericaBeautiful, #KeepAmericaBeautiful, and #GreatAmericanCleanup.
About Keep America Beautiful: Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s leading community improvement nonprofit organization, inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment. Established in 1953, Keep America Beautiful strives to End Littering, Improve Recycling, and Beautify America’s Communities. We believe everyone has a right to live in a clean, green, and beautiful community, and shares a responsibility to contribute to that vision. The organization is driven by the work and passion of 700 Keep America Beautiful affiliates, millions of volunteers, and the collaborative support of corporate partners, social and civic service organizations, academia, municipalities, elected officials, and individuals. Join us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. Donate and take action at kab.org.
Contact: Abby Turpin, Director of Communications
Keep America Beautiful®