April 13, 2016 – For immediate release
JEFFERSON CITY – Missourians from every corner of the state are asked to do spring cleaning outdoors and help fight litter through the state’s annual No MOre Trash! Bash April 15 to May 15. The Trash Bash is sponsored by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) as part of their ongoing No MOre Trash! statewide anti-litter campaign.
The annual Trash Bash encourages people to clean up litter across Missouri from roadsides, parks, neighborhoods, rivers, streams, trails and other places. Trash Bash activities in April also include educational efforts in schools, community events and Earth Day celebrations.
Each year, MoDOT alone spends about $6 million to remove litter from more than 385,000 acres of roadsides along 34,000 state highway miles. Annual volunteer efforts to pick up litter along Missouri highways are valued at $1 million.
Last year, more than 60,000 bags of litter and several truckloads of debris were picked up during the one month Trash Bash. People also attended numerous educational events stressing the importance of not littering. Volunteers participated through Adopt-A-Highway and Stream Team litter cleanup events. Missouri Stream Team Program volunteers removed 581 tons of litter from waterways and dedicated over $1.8 million worth of volunteer time to litter removal statewide annually.
“Litter is a big problem because it’s unattractive, costly, and harmful to the environment,” said Stacy Armstrong, MoDOT No MOre Trash! coordinator. “If more people would keep their trash and properly dispose of it, or, better yet, recycle it, we would reduce the amount of litter we need to pick up in the first place.”
Littering isn’t just ugly, it also hurts wildlife and Missouri outdoors.
“Birds, fish, turtles and other animals get tangled in litter, such as plastic six-pack holders and fishing line, and it can kill them," said Conservation Department No MOre Trash! Coordinator Joe Jerek. "Litter poisons fish, birds and other wildlife and can cost a litterer up to $1,000 in fines and one year in jail.”
Volunteers are needed across the state to participate in litter cleanup activities. Participants can report their cleanup efforts and will receive a thank you No MOre Trash! pin. For more information and to learn how to participate, visit www.nomoretrash.org or call 1-888-ASK-MODOT (1-888-275-6636).