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Keep America Beautiful Launches 2009 Great American Cleanup; Reminds Americans that "Green Starts Here"

Submitted by: Keep America Beautiful

Categories: Sustainability, Volunteerism

Posted: Mar 03, 2009 – 08:15 AM EST


2009 "Green Starts Here" Campaign Launches in Mississippi with National Events in New York City and Nashville; Local Groups Mobilize Millions of Volunteers Nationwide

Mar. 03 /CSRwire/ - STAMFORD, Conn. - March 3, 2009 - Americans now more than ever want to do their part to improve not only their own community, but our planet. Keep America Beautiful is reminding environmental stewards of all ages and walks of life across the country that Green Starts Here, with each volunteer and group that joins in to participate in Keep America Beautiful's Great American Cleanup(TM).

The Great American Cleanup begins today with a national launch event in Waveland, Miss., which will help to restore a hurricane-ravaged town along the Gulf Coast, and continues through May 31 with additional national events in New York City on Earth Day and Nashville on May 14. The 2009 Great American Cleanup reminds individuals and families that a better environment for us all starts in our own communities – and the volunteer work we do close to home affects our entire planet. Millions of volunteers across the country will gather during the Great American Cleanup to rid our streets, waterways and public spaces of litter and illegal dumpsites. We're greening up parks, schoolyards and other public spaces, holding recycling drives and educational events, painting out graffiti and much more.

For Keep America Beautiful, Green Starts Here.

"For each of the millions of volunteers nationwide, 'green' starts with his or her decision to help clean up a local park, an abandoned building lot, a community garden or any of the thousands of sites across the country where volunteers work to improve the community," said Matthew McKenna, president and CEO of Keep America Beautiful. "We're reminding our friends and our neighbors that 'Green Starts Here,' but the impact we create as individuals goes beyond our own community."

Long before climate change was a global concern, Keep America Beautiful was working to green America’s communities. Each of the thousands of trees planted last year – and over the last 55 years – takes a significant amount of carbon dioxide from the air. Each item the Cleanup recycles saves energy and conserves natural resources.

The 2008 Great American Cleanup efforts resulted in over 86 million pounds of litter and debris removed from America's landscape; in addition, 15,200 junk cars were removed and the number of illegal dumpsites that were cleaned up nearly doubled to 6,500 from the previous year. The program improved over 144,000 miles of roadway; 91,000 acres of parks and public lands; 7,000 miles of rivers, lakes and shorelines; and 6,000 miles of hiking, biking and nature trails. Recycling results were equally impressive with participants reclaiming 186 million plastic (PET) bottles; 1.4 million tires; 10.2 million pounds of aluminum and steel; 5.3 million pounds of electronics; 137,000 batteries; 37.1 million pounds of newsprint; and 5.2 million pounds of clothing.

The Great American Cleanup takes place every year between March 1 and May 31. This year, an expected 3 million volunteers will get involved and let "green" start with them by participating in 30,000 community improvement activities and educational workshops happening in over 17,000 communities nationwide. All will spread the message of individual responsibility to keep America’s communities clean, green and beautiful.

America's leading companies support the campaign. The national sponsors of the 2009 Great American Cleanup are: American Honda Motor Co., Inc.; ARM & HAMMER(R); Colgate-Palmolive Company; The Dow Chemical Company; GLAD(R) Trash Bags; Pepsi-Cola Company; The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company; Solo Cup Company; Troy-Bilt(R) Lawn and Garden Equipment; University of Phoenix; Waste Management, Inc.; Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co.; and Educational Partner: Rubber Manufacturers Association.

About Keep America Beautiful, Inc.

Keep America Beautiful, Inc., established in 1953, is the nation's largest volunteer-based community action and education organization. This national nonprofit forms public-private partnerships and programs that engage individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community environments. The Great American Cleanup is one of its many programs that encourage people to care for communities through volunteer participation. To join the Great American Cleanup and let green start with you, visit

For more information, please contact:

Robert Wallace Keep America Beautiful
Phone: (203) 659-3016
Phone 2: (203) 313-4937
Jill Greenwood CJP Communications
Phone: (212) 279-3115, ext. 114
Phone 2: (203) 913-6298

For more from this organization:

Keep America Beautiful


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