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Volunteers Give Hampton Roads a Clean Sweep

Volunteers Give Hampton Roads a Clean Sweep

Photo of HRPDC and HRTPO Staff that participated in the Great American Cleanup and some of the bags of trash collected.It was another tremendous year for the Hampton Roads Great American Cleanup. The two-day cleanup initiative has grown every year and askHRgreen.org is so pleased to announce another record-breaking year. This year’s cleanup was held on March 24-25 and attracted more than 2,400 volunteers from around Hampton Roads. Working together, volunteers cleared a combined 2,805 bags of litter and 429 tires from roadways, tree lines, neighborhoods, parks, and waterways. That’s an estimated 47 tons of trash found and removed from public spaces. From James City County and Gloucester to Suffolk and Virginia Beach and even staff from the HRPDC and HRTPO, volunteers came together across the region and it showed!

Last month’s cleanup effort was part of the national Great American Cleanup initiative from Keep America Beautiful. The national program celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2023 and these cleanup results are certainly a great way to celebrate a quarter century of litter cleanups. Since the launch of Great American Cleanup, Keep America Beautiful estimates that 500,000 volunteers have taken part in 15,000 community events nationwide. Here in Hampton Roads, our annual spring cleanup initiative continues to grow as hundreds of volunteers sign on each year to beautify their communities and clear litter from roadways, neighborhoods, shopping centers, and parks.

And while we celebrate these great accomplishments, it’s important to remember there’s more work to be done. Those high litter locations we can all spot in our communities need frequent care and attention. askHRgreen.org is working 365 days a year to prevent litter through public education and organizing volunteers to manage the buildup of unsightly litter. Please consider staying engaged beyond the Great American Cleanup and doing your part to keep Hampton Roads litter-free.

Here are some ways you can help:

  • Secure your outdoor trash cans so trash cannot spill out or blow away. This includes not overfilling your can!
  • Leave only footprints, take only memories. When you’re visiting Hampton Roads attractions this summer, please leave nothing behind but your footprints. Have a plan to properly dispose of any trash you might create.
  • Avoid single use plastics. Say no to single use straws and plastic shopping bags. Pack a refillable water bottle instead of buying beverages in disposable containers. Less waste means less potential for litter!
  • Claim your spot. Adopt a little corner of your community and make it wonderful! The askHRgreen.org Team Up 2 Clean Up program provides easy access to lendable litter kits you can use to hold regular cleanups.
  • Volunteer for organized cleanup events. Great American Cleanup is just the kickoff to numerous cleanup events you can join throughout the year. Clean the Bay Day is happening on June 3rd but if you can’t make it, no worries! The DIY portion of this annual event runs June 4-10. Also be on the lookout for the International Coastal Cleanup happening annually in September.

Together we can keep Hampton Roads beautiful!


Photo of a community group that participated in the Great American Cleanup.