Harrisburg, Pa. (WHTM) – Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and his administration are teaming up with representatives from Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful to launch a new statewide anti-litter campaign titled “PA Fights Litter: Every Litter Matters.”
The Commonwealth’s first waste action plan, released last year, was popular advice at both state and local government level.
PennDOT Secretary Yasmin Gramian said, “As a common resource, we need to change our behavior.” “With our collective efforts and this litter prevention campaign, we are confident that we can reduce litter in Pennsylvania.”
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The campaign calls on every Pennsylvanian to make sure every piece of trash, regardless of size, is disposed of properly. A research study sponsored by the Anti-Litter Campaign found that only 3 percent of Pennsylvania residents have no problem with littering.
“Looking at garbage is not just ugly. It can cause environmental pollution and threaten public health, said Ramz Ziadeh, Acting Secretary of the Department of Environment. “The waste leaches chemicals into our soil and water and can become a breeding ground for mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus.”
The anti-litter campaign is a response to the 2019 Pennsylvania Litter Survey, which found that the commonwealth has more than 500 million pieces of trash and garbage on its way; Most of those pieces of trash, approximately 85%, are less than four inches in size.
Improving aesthetics and ethics is a clear shift in reducing waste. However, cleaning litter from Pennsylvania’s roads and trails also helps reduce the $350 million in litter-related costs each year.
“As we work hand-in-hand with local community leaders, they frequently cite the challenges they face with solid waste — a challenge that impacts property values, business attractiveness, quality of life, health and more,” said DCED Acting Secretary. Neil Weaver. “We save communities valuable time and money by preventing waste from occurring.”
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From January 1 to June 30, 2022, Pennsylvania State Police issued 661 citations and 562 warnings related to anti-littering laws.
“The Pennsylvania State Police is committed to making Pennsylvania beautiful by enforcing the state’s litter laws,” said Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Robert Ivanchick. “It is 100% preventable with fines starting at $300. The public is encouraged to report any littering violations to their local law enforcement agency.”
The new anti-litter campaign is celebrating the new partnership between PenDoot and Pennsylvania Beautiful (KPB). The program, which is now accepting applications, welcomes students from grades 10 to 12 to help keep their state clean.
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We are proud to partner with PennDOT to offer the Pennsylvania Youth Ambassadors Program. We know that today’s students hold the key to a sustainable future. We are excited to partner with and lead this group of young ambassadors to implement change in their communities and the Commonwealth,” said Shannon Reiter, President of Beautiful Pennsylvania.
The selected students have committed for nine months to assist KPB in various educational and training workshops as well as community clean-up events. Click here for more information about the Young Ambassadors Program.
Click here to learn more about the PA Fights Dirty campaign.
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