Volunteers remove more than 200 tons of litter from state landscape


More than 11,000 volunteers removed over 200 tons of litter and debris from the state’s landscape during two spring cleanup programs sponsored by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.


Numbers were recently finalized for April’s Make It Shine and Adopt-A-Highway cleanup programs, administered by the DEP’s Rehabilitation Environmental Action Plan (REAP).


The two-week Make It Shine statewide cleanup was bolstered by the efforts of 3,772 volunteers, who removed more than 130 tons of trash from West Virginia’s public lands and streams. At least one cleanup was scheduled in each of the state’s 55 counties. Make It Shine volunteers collected 3,376 discarded tires and cleaned 119 miles of roadway, 148 miles of stream, 48 miles of trail and 2,241 acres of park.


More than 7,300 volunteers from across the state participated in the spring Adopt-A-Highway cleanup and collected 7,225 bags of litter from over 1,200 miles of West Virginia’s roadways. The Adopt-A-Highway fall cleanup is scheduled Sept. 30 through Oct. 2.


“I am very proud of our state’s natural beauty and of our citizens’ efforts to preserve that beauty by volunteering for cleanup programs such as Make It Shine and Adopt-A-Highway,” Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said. “By participating in these programs, West Virginians are doing their part to protect the environment and make our state the cleanest in the nation.”


DEP Cabinet Secretary Randy Huffman said state cleanup programs are essential to forging the needed partnerships between West Virginia and its citizens in ongoing efforts to reduce litter. “By engaging local communities and volunteers, we’re not only working together to keep our state clean,” Huffman said, “but we’re also educating the public about the negative impact of litter.”


The DEP’s REAP program focuses on cleanup efforts from both program staff and volunteers statewide. It empowers citizens to take ownership of their communities by providing technical, financial, and resource assistance in cleanup efforts.


Tom Aluise