LUZERNE COUNTY, Pa. — With trash bags in hand, volunteers from the Luzerne County citizens' blight committee spent the morning picking up litter on Union Street, just along Toby Creek in Luzerne, near Kingston.
"Littered neighborhood is a depressing thing, so clean up the litter and stop depression," said Gregory Griffin.
It's part of the statewide Pick Up Pennsylvania initiative spearheaded by DEP and PennDOT in 2004.
"We've seen the importance of nature and being outdoors, and that also comes along with keeping our areas clean. And making sure that not only is it healthy for us to be outside, but that we have a safe and comfortable place to be where we can be proud of our area," said Rachel Stark with the Pennsylvania Environmental Council (PEC).
Every year during the spring and fall months, people are encouraged to start their own cleanups in their communities.
Last fall, people across the state were able to clean up more than 745,000 pounds of trash.
"It's an incredible epidemic; it's ruining neighborhoods. There are diapers, couches, tires, around the corner, you'll see on the shoulder how it's littered, and that litter makes it into the waterways," said Griffin.
That's the focus of this year's campaign, keeping our waterways litter-free, as the trash here in northeastern Pennsylvania will make its way to places far, far away.
"It is really critical to keep litter out of the waterways. Inevitably, anything in the Susquehanna River, that is going to end up in the Chesapeake Bay and then down into the ocean. So everything we can do to mitigate trash here is going to have a much larger-scale impact," said Stark.
If you register for a community cleanup, DEP can provide materials like gloves and garbage bags while supplies last. For more information, click here.
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