JEFFERSON CITY Mo -– Many Missourians are breathing a sigh of relief that the winter season is drawing to an end, but as the snow melts away a real eyesore is appearing - litter. That’s why it’s a good thing April is the annual No MOre Trash! Bash so we can all get outside and clean up Missouri.
The annual Trash Bash is an annual event sponsored by the Missouri Departments of Conservation (MDC) and Transportation (MoDOT) as part of their ongoing No MOre Trash! campaign. During the entire month of April, efforts are aimed at getting people to clean up litter all across Missouri from roadsides, parks, neighborhoods, rivers, streams and other places.
“This is our big spring kick off each year to get our state looking better,” said Stacy Armstrong, MoDOT No MOre Trash! coordinator. “Through efforts like this we can reduce litter and increase awareness.”
MDC No MOre Trash! Coordinator Joe Jerek added that littering isn’t just ugly, it hurts wildlife, costs Missourians millions of tax dollars each year, and it’s illegal.
“Birds, fish, turtles and other animals get tangled in litter, such as plastic six-pack holders and fishing line, and it can kill them," Jerek explained. "Litter poisons fish, birds and other wildlife and can cost a litterer up to $1,000 in fines and one year in jail.”
MoDOT spends more than $5 million each year cleaning litter from Missouri’s roadsides, while MDC spends almost $1 million a year to clean litter from conservation areas and other department locations.
Last year more than 128,000 bags of trash and many more truckloads of debris were collected by more than 12,000 volunteers during April. Volunteers included MoDOT and MDC employees, Adopt-A-Highway volunteers, Stream Team members, as well as many members of the public and community groups.
Each year the activities grow. Many educational efforts take place in schools, at rest areas, at community events, during Earth Day celebrations, on radio talk shows, news conferences, television promotions and more. Make plans now to participate.
Anyone can report their activity at www.nomoretrash.org and get a free lapel pin for their efforts.
“Besides the recognition, we all get a little exercise, some fresh air, and a cleaner place to work, live and play,” Armstrong said.
For more information, visit www.nomoretrash.org.