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Litter Summit Attendees Learn About New Tools to Combat Litter- Video Blog
Secretary McGinty

This week attendees at the Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful’s 4th Annual Litter Summit learned about new tools to combat litter and beautiful their communities. Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Kathleen McGinty also congratulated the group and its partners for getting out nearly 140,000 volunteers for the Great PA Cleanup!

This year’s Summit theme was “Cleanup and Pretty Up” and will feature workshops on community art and greening, tools and resources, the COALS Program, PA Roadside Aesthetics and much more.

Attendees also heard the inspiring story of Chad Pregracke, who at 17, started a river cleanup program that begin along the Mississippi River and spread to the Illinois, Missouri and Ohio rivers. Pregracke now heads the Living Lands & Waters non-profit group dedicated to promoting river cleanups, reforestation and environmental education.

Secretary McGinty noted the 2007 Great PA Cleanup involved: 4,987 cleanup events; 139,480 volunteers; 372,096 bags of collected trash, weighing 7,441,919 pounds; 41,560 pounds of illegally dumped trash and 870 tires collected by volunteers in DEP’s Clean up Our American Lands and Streams (COALS) program from April through May; 13,565 miles of road, railroad track, trails, waterways and shorelines cleaned, and 3,238 acres of park and or wetlands; and 4,124 communities involved, and all 67 counties in Pennsylvania.

She also told the audience significant issues are looming in the fall legislative session they should be aware of like consideration of the Governor’s Energy Independence Initiative, dealing with electric rates after the caps come off in 2010 and funding for the Hazardous Sites Cleanup Program.

Video Blog: DEP Secretary McGinty Remarks at the Litter Summit

The Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Alliance and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society also recognized the first of 31 winners of the Community Greening Award that honors community gardeners in public spaces across the Commonwealth at the Summit. (See separate story)

Members of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful also reported that more than 80 schools have signed up for the Litter-Free School Zone pledge and more are signing up.


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