ERIE, Pa., March 22, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The ninth annual Pennsylvania-Lake Erie International Coastal Cleanup set a new record for volunteers who removed trash and debris from the Lake Erie shoreline and adjacent tributaries, the Department of Environmental Protection announced today.
The Sept. 17, 2011 event drew 1,518 volunteers who removed 7,577 pounds of trash and separated out 1,715 pounds of recyclable material, weighed on scales provided by the Erie County Recycling Program.
"There is no reason for us to continue to find plastic and glass beverage bottles and aluminum cans, when these items are easily recyclable," DEP event coordinator Don Benczkowski said. "International Coastal Cleanup provides a mechanism to educate participants of all ages about litter and recycling, and it highlights the dedication of the volunteers while keeping our waterways free of trash and debris."
DEP, along with other organizations and community leaders, coordinated the annual cleanup at 15 sites around northern Erie County, including rural areas and in downtown Erie. Several Erie County schools and universities provided more than half of the event's volunteers. All trash was disposed for free at Lakeview Landfill, a Waste Management facility in Summit Township, Erie County.
Every piece of trash collected was documented. The "top five types of trash" found during the 2011 cleanup included:
- 19,716 cigarette butts and cigar tips
- 6,277 beverage containers
- 5,495 food wrappers and containers
- 4,547 beverage caps, lids and straws
- 2,578 plastic bags
International Coastal Cleanup is the oldest and largest volunteer project of its kind. Over the past nine years, 8,106 local volunteers have collected a total of 314,499 individual items in Erie County, totaling 114,092 pounds. DEP's Coastal Resources Management program has been the main sponsor of PA-Lake Erie International Coastal Cleanup since 2003.
This year's cleanup event will be held Saturday, Sept. 15, from 9 a.m. to noon. For more information on the cleanup, visit www.coastalcleanup.org or call DEP's Coastal Resources Management program at 814-217-9634.
Media contact: Amanda Witman, 717-979-0218 (mobile)
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection