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Local, state efforts target litter

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BY LINDELL JOHN KAY
Staff Writer

Sunday, April 15, 2018

People looking to make a positive environmental impact will have several opportunities to do so over the next couple of weeks, beginning Saturday with the Riverkeeper Cup Cleanup Challenge.

Keep America Beautiful of Nash and Edgceombe Counties is holding the Riverkeeper Cup Cleanup Challenge from 8 a.m. to noon at Shiloh Landing in Tarboro and Battle Park boat ramp in Rocky Mount. The organization will hand out cleanup supplies and assignments for the challenge at the landing and boat ramp.

Volunteers are asked to participate by completing land and river cleanups. Boats also are needed. The community that collects the most trash by weight will take home the coveted Riverkeeper Cup.

“Our ongoing efforts to help keep Rocky Mount and Tarboro clean and green are having a positive impact on our community,” said KAB Coordinator Cornelia McGee. “This is also another opportunity to keep Rocky Mount clean, including our precious Tar River, and at the same time provide a nice incentive for those who are willing to assist.”

The volunteers make the challenge a continued success, so the McGee said she's asking residents to participate and make a difference in their community.

Saturday's not the only day to help clean up the area. The state's Spring Litter Sweep runs through April 28. Volunteers from across the state will be donating their time to help keep North Carolina beautiful and safe. It's the perfect opportunity for local businesses, schools, nonprofit groups and community groups to sign up and participate, while helping keep North Carolina a wonderful place to live and work, said Katie Trout, a spokeswoman for the N.C. Transportation Department.

Adopt-A-Highway groups are also encouraged to participate in the biannual litter sweep, which helps increase cleanup and motivate the community to be good stewards of the environment, Trout said.

In its 30th year, the Adopt-A-Highway Program helps decrease the amount of litter on the state’s roadsides and improves environmental beauty, quality and safety. Roadsides are available for adoption in all 100 North Carolina counties. Groups commit to cleaning their designated roadways at least four times a year and NCDOT provides them with safety vests, gloves and bags.

In 2017, nearly 5,000 Adopt-A-Highway groups removed close to 1 million pounds of litter from almost 10,000 miles of state roadways.

“We want to thank the thousands of volunteers who give up their time every year to help make sure our state is a beautiful and safe place to work, live and visit. We couldn’t do this without all of them,” said David Harris, the department's roadside environmental engineer.

Additionally, businesses, individuals and other organizations can also participate in the state’s Sponsor-A-Highway initiative. In return for cleaning a one-mile stretch of interstate highway, sponsors have their organization’s name or logo attached to the Sponsor-A-Highway sign.

Visit the Adopt-A-Highway or Sponsor-A-Highway websites for more information or to apply. Questions regarding the programs or applications can be directed to Kim Wheeless at 919-707-2974.

Visit the Roadside Environmental Unit’s webpage to request cleanup supplies from a local NCDOT county maintenance office. For more information on the Riverkeeper Cup Cleanup Challenge call McGee at 252-467-4960.

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