Put some spring in your step and help clean up Oklahoma

Staff Writer

Signs of spring are on the way to Oklahoma. Skies are blue, trees are budding and flowers are blooming. The time is now for Oklahomans to come together and beautify our state.

This year the Oklahoma Department of Transportation is partnering with Keep Oklahoma Beautiful on Earth Day for the 29th annual Trash-OFF event scheduled for April 22. The statewide, one-day cleanup activity is Oklahoma’s signature event in the Great American Cleanup which is the nation’s largest community beautification program.

Beginning March 1 through May 31 communities, counties and volunteers may participate in the Great American Cleanup within the three-month span.

“This one-day event is a time for all Oklahomans to work together to help keep our state beautiful,” Melody Johnson, ODOT Beautification coordinator said. “The Trash-OFF and Great American Cleanup usually have participation from all 77 counties which helps bring awareness to littering issues.”

Keep Oklahoma Beautiful will provide free supplies and promotional items to registered Trash-OFF participants. Those items include trash bags provided by Glad, gloves and safety vests (in limited quantities) from Warren CAT, water and much more.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation additionally supports the Trash-OFF by housing KOB’s supplies for the event at its Oklahoma City warehouse. The items are then distributed to each ODOT county maintenance yard where they are picked up by volunteer groups.

In 2016, Oklahoma’s Great American Cleanup included 504 events throughout the state during the March through May timeframe. More than 55,000 volunteers and participants in all 77 counties were able to fill more than 260,000 trash bags, which held more than 2.2 million pounds of litter. According to KOB, nearly $6.5 million was saved or costs were avoided by the state, county and local governments as a result of the 2016 Great American Cleanup in Oklahoma.

The efforts of ODOT and KOB have been so successful that ODOT received national recognition from Keep America Beautiful and the U.S. Department of Transportation in 2016, 2014 and 2012.

Oklahoma’s Trash-OFF is sponsored by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation, Keep Oklahoma Beautiful, Oklahoma Turnpike Authority, OGE Energy Corp., Warren CAT, P&K Equipment, OK Environmental Management Authority and the Oklahoma Beverage Association.

To register for the Great American Cleanup and Trash-OFF groups, counties and individuals can go online at www.keepoklahomabeautiful.com or call 405-286-9141.

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