First Annual Great Massachusetts Cleanup Yields Nearly 33 Tons of Trash

The first annual Great Massachusetts Cleanup wrapped up at the end of May with impressive results. Thanks to the efforts of nearly 9,000 volunteers and municipal leaders in 50 communities across the state, there are at least 33 fewer tons of trash and litter in Massachusetts.

"This was the first year we compiled results from the many existing and recently organized litter cleanups that take place across the state each spring,” explained Neil Rhein, executive director of Keep Massachusetts Beautiful. “The results were encouraging. However, we realize there is much more that needs to be done to raise awareness about our state’s litter problem. We need to mobilize government, business, and volunteer resources to clean it up, or better yet, prevent littering behavior.”

Many towns across Massachusetts have staged annual small-scale litter cleanups in the past. Keep Massachusetts Beautiful is providing expertise and support to dramatically increase the number of volunteers that participate in the Great Massachusetts Cleanup in 2017, as well as the number of towns and cities that participate.

“We’re aiming to make the Great Massachusetts Cleanup an annual rite of spring across Massachusetts, just like the Boston Marathon and Patriot’s Day,” said Rhein “We envision a time when volunteers from all 351 Massachusetts towns and cities will help clean up the vast amounts of litter that pile up during the long winter months.”

To achieve this vision, Keep Massachusetts Beautiful is coordinating with local and state government leaders and volunteers across the state. The nonprofit organization is also looking to collaborate with Massachusetts businesses that are passionate about community service and protecting the state’s natural beauty.

To learn more about the Great Massachusetts Cleanup and Keep Massachusetts Beautiful, visit www.keepmassbeautiful.org.