Keep America Beautiful is celebrating the Great American Cleanup’s 25th year in 2023. As the country continues to deal with the pandemic, it is as important as ever to help end litter across our great nation. This means that we should all make sure that waste (including PPE) gets placed in the trash and we all recycle based on local capabilities.
Regarding litter collection, Great American Cleanup event organizers have been provided clear guidance to ensure that volunteer health is our first priority. All cleanups should 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.
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The Great American Cleanup® unifies and beautifies communities across the country in a grassroots spring-cleaning movement. Celebrating its 25th year, the Great American Cleanup creates opportunities for millions of volunteers to have remarkable results – picking up millions of pounds of litter, cleaning over 100,000 acres of public spaces, and tens of thousands of miles of roadways and shorelines.
The Great American Cleanup prompts individuals to take greater responsibility for their local environment by conducting grassroots community service projects that engage volunteers, local businesses, and civic leaders. A successful Great American Cleanup project must fulfill the needs of the local community; that’s why we work with local community and business leaders, as well as other key stakeholders to gain knowledge about the community’s needs and carefully select and execute appropriate projects.
The Great American Cleanup began as a litter cleanup initiative designed to aesthetically improve our environment by creating cleaner parks, streetscapes, and public spaces through litter removal and elimination. To this day, community cleanups remain at the very heart of the campaign, and the results are remarkable. In 2019 alone, over 40 million pounds of litter and recyclables were collected by volunteers throughout the country.
Our community greening and beautification efforts range from new tree plantings that provide shade and sequester carbon to planting flower gardens that create vibrant gateways to shopping and entertainment districts to creating community gardens that help feed the hungry and educate young gardeners.
Through a wide array of workshops, special events and on-the-ground service projects, leaders from our affiliate network and participating organizations are helping to change attitudes and behaviors toward the environment by engaging young and old alike.
Keep America Beautiful strives to motivate more Americans to make informed decisions and take simple everyday actions to clean up, green up, and fix up their local communities through their participation in the Great American Cleanup.
2023 Programmatic Highlights
- The focus for GAC 2023 will be on broadening the scope from litter cleanup to more emphasis on recycling the materials collected and returning them to the circular economy
- We will emphasize collecting and recycling cigarette butts with a new cleanup kit that includes a separate canister for cigarette waste, complete with instructions on mailing them in to be recycled
- 4,000 cleanup kits will be distributed nationally across the KAB affiliate network and to the first 500 individuals who request a kit
- Waterway cleanup efforts will continue with the installation of litter collection devices in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and the Great Lakes
Thank you to our 2023 Great American Cleanup National Sponsors: