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Please take pride: Pandemic is no reason to litter

We all see it … cans, bottles, empty fast-food bags littering the roads and roadside thanks to lazy, stupid people who care more about themselves than the natural environment we all share.

And it happens even amid a pandemic where people are suffering … and dying.

While people are sacrificing their own lives to save others … strangers, no less.

Shame on you if you litter.

As we all work to practice social distancing to try to stop this invisible killer, many are spending time outside … in and with Mother Nature.

With that in mind, we join the Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful campaign in asking residents to take pride in Pennsylvania and not to litter.

“We’re heartened by many stories of residents getting outside and reconnecting with their neighborhoods, parks and trails. Unfortunately, there’ve also been stories of people leaving litter, dog waste and even graffiti behind in state parks and forests and other places,” Shannon Reiter, president of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, told The Express.

The increased litter puts an undue strain on the already reduced staff at state and municipal parks and recreation departments across the state.

“If you’re one of the many Pennsylvanians spending time outdoors, please respect the environment and dispose of trash properly. Remember, if you pack it in, you can pack it out. A pandemic is no reason to litter. There’s no acceptable time to litter,” she said.

To help protect Pennsylvanians’ health and safety, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful recently suspended its annual statewide Pick Up Pennsylvania initiative, which supports upwards of 5,000 cleanups each spring from March 1 through May 31.

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful will support this initiative once the threat of COVID-19 passes and social distancing restrictions are lifted.

Details concerning free cleanup supplies of bags, gloves and safety vests and free or reduced cost landfill space will be communicated as they become available.

Last year, 92,342 volunteers participated in the statewide spring cleanup campaign, collecting over 7 million pounds of trash and recyclables and19,082 tires and planting 8,580 flowers and other plants.

Folks, it is up to all of us to take the initiative every day to keep our communities clean.

Do your part, please.

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