2018-02-08 / Local & State

DEP, PennDOT Earn National Recognition

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) have been honored with Keep America Beautiful (KAB) 2018 State Agency Partner Awards for their partnership on the Great American Cleanup of Pennsylvania in 2017. The statewide campaign organized over 132,000 volunteers who participated in over 7,200 local cleanup events in every county of the commonwealth.

“DEP has supported and participated in the annual Great American Cleanup of Pennsylvania program since it began in 2004,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “It reflects two of our core values—improving the environment and fostering strong community partnerships and it succeeds.”

“We are very proud of the long-running success of our Adopt-A-Highway program,” said PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards. “The efforts of our district coordinators coupled with the enthusiasm of our volunteers results in tons of trash and debris being removed from our roadways year after year.”

The Great American Cleanup of Pennsylvania is coordinated by KAB affiliate Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful with state agency support from DEP and PennDOT. Last year the campaign brought thousands of Pennsylvanians together in the spring to collect millions of pounds of trash and plant trees, shrubs, and flowers.

In 2017, through Penn- DOT’s Adopt-A-Highway program, agency district coordinators partnered with over 4,800 volunteer groups adopting 10,733 miles, collectively saving the commonwealth in excess of $5 million, allowing scarce commonwealth resources to be redirected to areas needing critical attention.

DEP funding covered the cost of supplies for the participating volunteers, who collected more than 5 million pounds of trash from an estimated 11,168 miles of roads, railroad tracks, trails, waterways, and shorelines and planted 16,437 trees, bulbs, and plants in Pennsylvania.

DEP and PennDOT partner on statewide public outreach to raise public awareness of cleanup events. In addition, Secretary McDonnell participated in a cleanup event in Steelton Borough, and other DEP staff participated in events in their local areas.

“The Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Transportation have been invaluable partners to Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful since its inception, providing resources that have enabled hundreds of thousands of volunteers to participate in tens of thousands of community improvement events,” said Shannon Reiter, president of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful.

The Pennsylvania Waste Industries Association, the Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association, and numerous companies also support the communities’ cleanup projects.

Both agencies remind Pennsylvanians to do their part and not litter. Learn more about litter in the commonwealth.

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