Pandemic impacts litter cleanups

Local

EVANSVILLE, Ind (WEHT)– Volunteers are getting ready to pick up litter across Evansville. Julie Welch, the executive director of Keep Evansville Beautiful, said they are ready to jump back into picking up trash on the side of the road. This comes after people have been cooped up during the pandemic.

“We have seen a lot of masks being thrown to the ground, so that’s never a good thing. And you know people have been inside their homes and there hasn’t been the effort by Clean Evansville to get that litter off the streets so there’s a lot on the streets that need to be picked up,” explained Welch.

Keep America Beautiful has found the pandemic had different impacts on litter. Litter increased in some communities, but decreased in others.

With some clean up initiatives put on hold in Evansville during the pandemic, Keep Evansville Beautiful volunteers will be making up for lost time this summer. Some community members are already taking matters into their own hands.

“Just a couple of hours ago I had a lady that came in here she had a walker and wanted to pick up litter and I just though, ‘My heavens. You know what a sweet lady’. She wants to come in and help other people, but if people that are throwing litter out their car doors or dropping it on the streets could see that a lady in a walker is volunteering to pick up their litter, maybe that could change their behavior,” Welch said more volunteers are gearing up to pick up litter across the city starting at Berry Global.

“CenterPoint, they are going to send their employees up around their headquarters in the downtown,” Welch added.

Old National Bank is sending people around Haynie’s Corner and out on the east side. Welch said the most littered item is still cigarette butts.

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