Keep Clark County Beautiful's box spurs community-led litter cleanup

Keep Clark County Beautiful (KCCB) is thinking inside the box.

On July 1, the group installed a Cleanup Litter Box stocked with supplies for residents to pick up trash in public areas. The box, located at 1620 W. Main St., is modeled after the little libraries placed throughout town. But, instead of books, it’s stocked with gloves, vests, trash bags and litter grabbers.

Clark County Solid Waste District Director Charles Bauer says that as of July 9, about 20 people have used the Cleanup Litter Box. The idea for the box came from brainstorming another way to hold litter cleanups after the COVID-19 pandemic forced cancellation of the annual Great American Cleanup, which involves hundreds of people in picking up litter.

“We decided that we were not going to promote group cleanups this year,” Bauer says in an email interview. “However, we still want people to safely clean up litter in our community, and while we have clean-up supplies in our warehouse, we needed a new way to distribute supplies to volunteers.”

Bauer says the program is probably the first of its kind, as he could not find an example of another community doing something similar. The Solid Waste District will consider the box a success if at least 100 people check out the materials.

“We hope to safely and conveniently distribute litter cleanup supplies to our community members, promote individual litter cleanup volunteerism and reduce litter in Clark County,” Bauer says.

KCCB encourages anyone using the Cleanup Litter Box to share a picture or an email describing their project. Photos and information can be sent to Clark County Public Information Officer Michael Cooper at [email protected] or posted directly on the KCCB Facebook page.

The Cleanup Litter Box also has an info sheet with safety tips. Some are general tips for safe cleanups, such as watching out for traffic or reporting hazardous items to authorities for removal. Other tips are geared to protecting against coronavirus, such as staying 6 feet away from other volunteers in your group and keeping your hands away from your face.

The box is situated in front of the building where the Solid Waste District conducts specialty recycling on Thursdays and the first Saturday of each month. The District provides staff and coordination for KCCB.

If the Cleanup Litter Box continues to be used well, KCCB will install more boxes at all six drop-off recycling locations run by the Solid Waste District.

Read more articles by Steve Schlather.

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