After tabulating data from the 2013 Great American Cleanup, the results are in. More than 16,000 people rolled up their sleeves to enrich the community by making Gwinnett cleaner, greener and safer. With 186 projects and events throughout Gwinnett and more than 30,000 across the nation, the scale of this national grassroots effort to revitalize neighborhoods and renew civic pride is enormous.
Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful has coordinated the Great American Cleanup since it began in 1986. The 2013 campaign, themed “I Pledge to Keep Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful,”# encouraged individuals to pledge to be an environmental steward every day. Through daily choices, stewardship can begin with picking up a piece of litter or recycling an old computer. It can start with planting one tree, beautifying a public space, holding a recycling drive, cleaning up a stream or painting out graffiti.
Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful is dedicated to building and sustaining a community movement to improve our environment and quality of life. This movement inspires individuals to take personal responsibility for improving our community and environment. Great movements begin with small actions. The 2013 results speak for themselves. In just 3 months, Gwinnettians –
- Collected more than 1.9 million pounds of materials for recycling (a 90 % increase over 2012).
- Removed 36,360 pounds of litter and debris from public lands and rights-of-way.
- Cleaned and beautified 186 miles of roadways
Several dozen community organizations accepted the Gwinnett Challenge to make a bigger impact in 2013. They recognized that cleaner and greener communities are better places to live, and can contribute to better economies and greater civic pride. Each group designed their own project and competed to earn a Challenge Title and cash prize. Eight community groups were selected by a panel of judges for making the biggest transformation and impact on their neighborhood and community. Each Challenge winner earned a Challenge Title and a $500 cash prize.
Connie Wiggins, the Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful Executive Director, believes that the Great American Cleanup – Gwinnett Challenge creates tremendous opportunities for members of the community. Wiggins says, “This event builds bonds between neighbors when they roll up their sleeves and work hand in hand to cleanup, green up and beautify their neighborhoods.”#
The Green-up Your Neighborhood #title was awarded to Tucker Woods Homeowner”s Association. These volunteers gave 59 hours of their time and talents to improve their neighborhood. They cleaned 5 miles of roadway, collected more than 200 pounds of trash, and hosted a “Cleanup Party”# with hotdogs and ice cream for the 25 neighborhood volunteers.
Lynnfield Park Subdivision Homeowner”s Association volunteers rolled up their sleeves to put trash in its proper place.# They removed more than 300 pounds of litter and recyclables from their neighborhood streets. Their efforts earned them the Stash the Trash title for 2013.
The Beautify Your Space title was earned by Duluth Matters. This group of dedicated volunteers beautified an old alley in downtown Duluth”s historic district by clearing out trash, resurfacing the walkway, and repainting three large walls. Their efforts revitalized a strolling space that the entire community can now enjoy.
United Peachtree Corners Civic Association with the City of Peachtree Corners received the Put Litter in Place title. They removed nearly 2,000 pounds of litter and debris from 6 different locations, making Gwinnett”s newest city a cleaner, greener and safer place.
The Recycle Now title went to LAN Systems. They hosted an Earth Day eRecycling event and collected 4,526 pounds of used electronics. Thanks to this project, these items will be kept out of the landfills and recycled or reused.
Sycamore National Junior Beta Club earned the Grow Green title. These students grew a greener school. They made craft items out of recycled goods, sold them to generate funds to beautify their school grounds and enhance a pollinator garden.
Coca-Cola Refreshments set up a new paper recycling system in their office and brought the paper they collected to the Recycling Bank of Gwinnett, earning the Shred Your Stuff title.
The Reuse It title was earned by Mother Nature”s Minions Lanier High School Environmental Club. These students collected 513 books that were donated for reuse to the Gwinnett Children”s Shelter and to Zindagitrust.org for the children of Pakistan.
“Thank you to this year”s winners and everyone that participated in the 2013 Great American Cleanup and the Gwinnett Challenge,”# says Bartow Morgan, Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful Chair. “Your efforts show how much you care for our community. The difference you make every day ensures that Gwinnett is the community of choice for living, learning, working and playing.”#
About Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful
Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful ( GCB) has served the greater Gwinnett community since 1980. This award winning, nationally recognized volunteer based non-profit helps people play an active role in improving our community. GCB has all types of tools, resources and opportunities to help you create a cleaner, greener and more livable Gwinnett. To join the Keep Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful movement visit www.gwinnettcb.org.