More than 16,000 Georgians Engaged Over 92 Days to Serve as Environmental Stewards in Local Initiative of National Keep America Beautiful Campaign
Duluth, GA – June 16 – The 15th Annual Great American Cleanup™ – Gwinnett Challenge is officially one for the history books. The three-month campaign – launched by the environmentally-focused non-profit organization, Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful – was a local interpretation of the nation’s largest annual community improvement program, the Great American Cleanup™. Started in 1999 by Keep America Beautiful, the Great American Cleanup is designed to enlist the involvement of volunteers from all walks of life to clean-up, fix-up, paint-up, and green-up in a combined effort to keep their community thriving and beautiful. Each year, Keep America Beautiful mobilizes more than 4 million volunteers and concerned citizens in communities all across the nation in a combined effort to beautify neighborhoods, reduce waste, initiate recycling programs, plant trees and gardens, and so much more. This year, Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful was proud to once again partner with Keep America Beautiful at the local level with the help of individuals, families, youth groups, high school green teams, local businesses, church groups, homeowner associations, civic organizations and more. All told, more than 16,000 people were engaged in the Gwinnett Challenge 2014, and over the course of just 92 days, local Great American Cleanup participants:
- Collected more than 6,000,000 pounds of recyclables. That’s enough recyclables to fill the recycling bins at 200,000 homes!
- Cleaned and beautified 178 miles of roadway throughout Gwinnett County.
- Removed 21, 855 pounds of litter. That’s enough litter to fill 1,093 large trash bags and span ½ mile from the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center to the Historic Courthouse in downtown Lawrenceville!
- Collected 1,439 books to donate to local and international charities.
- Removed more than a ton of litter from Bromolow Creek in Duluth.
- Built a new community playground.
While taking part in an environmentally focused event can be rewarding in and of itself, a number of participants were chosen as contest winners based on the biggest transformation or impact they made to their community. Divided into 5 categories, each honoree was recognized with a $500 cash prize. Winners of the Great American Cleanup – Gwinnett Challenge included:
- The Gwinnett Daily Post for the Recycle Now category – this award-winning community newspaper collected 451 pounds of recycling through an office-wide effort to gather recyclables from work and home
- The Peachtree Corners & United Peachtree Corners Civic Association for the Put Litter in its Place category – this local civic organization organized a community roadside cleanup along seven different roads in the city of Peachtree Corners and collected 48 bags of litter
- The Gwinnett Community Alliance in partnership with City of Norcross and Gwinnett Village CID for the Beautify Your Space category – this trio of organizations mobilized volunteers from within the community to help construct a new playground
- Lanier HS Environmental Club for the Clean Your Closets category – this student-run club collected 539 books to start a library at La Communidad De La Sagrada Familia orphanage in Lima, Peru
- Primerica for the Grow Green category – this Duluth, Ga.-based “Main Street” insurance and investments company spruced up the Urban Agriculture garden at Gwinnett Technical College by weeding, mulching and planting a dozen new trees
“We are humbled by the show of support from the local community for this year’s Great American Cleanup – Gwinnett Challenge,” said Connie Wiggins, Executive Director for Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful. “It is truly inspiring to see the ingenuity of and variety in the project submissions we received from participants. Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful wishes to extend our sincere gratitude to the people of Gwinnett for working together to make a difference for our environment and to make the Great American Cleanup – Gwinnett Challenge 2014 such a huge success. We are already in the planning stages to make next year’s Challenge even bigger and better!”
About Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful: Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful Services, Inc. (GCB) is an award-winning 501(c)3 charitable organization that boasts an expansive community-based network dedicated to finding long term solutions to environmental and quality of life issues through individual action. The organization is guided by a 55-member Citizens Advisory Board that represents all sectors of the Gwinnett County community. A nationally recognized leader in creating cleaner, greener and more livable communities throughout Gwinnett, GCB involves more than 100,000 volunteers annually to help prevent litter and graffiti, recycle and reduce waste, and increase environmental awareness. To learn more about Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful and its programs, aspiring environmental stewards are invited to visit www.GwinnettCB.org.