MEMPHIS - "The streak is alive."
That was the response from Keep America Beautiful (KAB) when Keep Tennessee Beautiful (KTnB) revealed it had achieved 100-percent participation from all 95 Tennessee counties during the 2011 Great American Cleanup (GAC). KTnB accomplished this unparalled feat for the fifth year in a row.
“Keep Tennessee Beautiful’s 100-percent countywide participation in the past five Great American Cleanup campaigns is a phenomenal achievement,” said Matt McKenna, KAB President and CEO. “Great American Cleanup volunteers in Tennessee once again demonstrated great pride of place by creating more sustainable communities through their volunteer work, and through their daily choices and actions.”
Keeping “the streak” alive has been one of the primary goals of KTnB since 2007, when KTnB became the first state in the nation to achieve 100-percent county participation during GAC.
KTnB Executive Director Sutton Mora Hayes said, “Working on GAC is a year-long process for our staff, even though the events only happen from March 1st – May 31st. Everyone here works to ensure that each local GAC coordinator has the resources he or she needs to host successful and meaningful GAC events. The staff is tireless during this process, and the proof of their accomplishments is a fifth year of 100-percent success.”
The results speak for themselves. A total of 765,560Tennesseans have contributed over two million volunteer hours to collect 72,352 tons of trash, 26,989.7 tons of recycling, and plant 166,232 trees during the five-year streak.
“We’re amazed at the numbers that our volunteers report to us each year. KTnB looks forward to continuing our GAC success in the future,” Mora Hayes said.
Here are some of the incredible numbers for just 2011. Statewide, over 143,053 volunteers contributed 358,240 hours to pick up nearly 60,711 tons of trash. This included 8,993 miles of roads, 15,778 acres of parks, and 205 illegal dumps.
Recycling has become an increasingly important part of GAC and the KAB value system, and Tennesseans have answered the call. In 2011, participants collected 549,597 pounds of clothes, over one million pounds of PET, 854,782 pounds of glass, over 1.4 million pounds of aluminum, nearly 37 million pounds of paper, and 648,618 pounds of electronics.
Recognizing that GAC is not just about picking up what is out of place or recycling old items, volunteers also planted 585 gardens/landscapes, 35,537 trees, and 84,493 flowers in 2011. A total of 519 homes were also renovated or painted, and 263 graffiti sites were abated.
Locally, during the 2011 GAC, Cannon County, led by Diane Hickman, cleaned 300 miles of highway in that area. A total of 28 volunteers contributed 126 hours, helping Hickman achieve these totals.
The National Sponsors of the 2011 Great American Cleanup were: The Dow Chemical Company; The Glad Products Company; LG Electronics U.S.A., Inc.; Lowe’s Companies, Inc. through the Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation; Nestlé® Pure Life® Purified Water; PepsiCo's Pepsi-Cola and Gatorade companies; The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company; Solo Cup Company; Troy-Bilt® Lawn and Garden Equipment; Waste Management, Inc.; and Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. Promotional Partners are: Crescent Art and Framing Products; Miss America Organization; and Valvoline, a division of Ashland, Inc. Educational Partners are: Owens-Illinois, Inc.; Rubber Manufacturers Association; and WM Recycle America. Retail Promotional Partner is: Colgate-Palmolive Company.
For more information on GAC, contact KTnB’s Sutton Mora Hayes at 901-678-4159, or Diane Hickman at 615-563-2320.