Litter Hurts and How You Can Help

by Cindy Pantea


Litter Getter science project by Maria McNutt, Litchfield Middle School

Litter degrades society and can harm people and wildlife. This was a discussion statement made by Litchfield middle school student, Maria McNutt, for her environmental science fair project* Litter Getter.

Just doing a quick search on Google for the effects of littering brings up its harm, including clean up costs, public health concerns and water contamination as well as startling images of wildlife, with their body parts caught in various types of litter debris.  

Just like Miss McNutt, Keep Akron Beautiful is determined to find ways to combat litter problems in our great Akron city. One effort that helps is our litter and illegal dumping collection program. It is a fact that litter invites more litter, and this program does help reduce it. Of course this alone doesn’t solve the issue, which is why many of our other endeavors fall under public awareness and education.

This is where you can help…

April is Clean Up Akron Month

clean up akron keep akron beautiful

Clean up volunteers

In an effort to engage the Akron community to take greater responsibility for the environment and teach each other about the effects of litter, Keep Akron Beautiful designates April as Clean Up Akron Month. This is a program that initially began as a week during the month of April, but with so many people wanting to be involved, the program grew into a month-long event.

To be a part of this event, visit to register yourself, your group, your family, etc. To complete this registration:

  1. Click on the “Register Now” button and fill out form, remembering that your registration will be under the group name that you fill in.
  2. Download the “Downloadable Clean Up Akron Month Packet” print the waivers.
  3. Have each member of your group fill out the waiver form (NOTE: There is one form for adults and one form for young adults and children under 18).
  4. Bring waivers to pick up supplies between 3/30/15 and 4/31/15 at the KAB office supplies. (NOTE: Use your GROUP NAME).

Or, if you would prefer:

  1. Download the “Downloadable Clean Up Akron Month Packet” OR call the KAB office at 330.375.2116 to have us mail you a packet.
  2. Fill out the forms in the packet, remembering that your registration will be under the group name that you fill in.
  3. Mail in the necessary forms. (NOTE: You may bring in the signed waivers when you pick up your supplies.)
  4. Come to the office between 3/30/15 and 4/31/15 to pick up supplies. (NOTE: Use your GROUP NAME.)

We look forward to your involvement!

Keep Akron Beautiful and Akron Litter and Illegal Dumpsites

At Keep Akron Beautiful, our litter crews work daily to pick up litter in our parks as well as on our roadsides, including interstates. With interstates, unintentional littering — the result of unsecured loads on vehicles — greatly adds to the unsightly trash problem.

For example, our agency’s year-end documentation shows that in 2014 KAB crew picked up:

  1. 4,831 bags of trash along the expressways.
  2. 1,367 bags of trash in our parks and on our roadsides.
  3. 711 bags of recyclables.
  4. 362 tires (which were picked up and disposed of properly at Lightner Tire, 780 E. Waterloo Rd.).
  5. 47.9 tons of illegal dumping debris.
littered tires keep akron beautiful

Tires found during a clean up at Buchtel High School

These numbers are completely separate from the 2014 Clean Up Akron Month numbers, which engaged 4,240 volunteers who cleaned up 128 public sites including 36 city parks, 6 community centers and 20 schools. The amount of litter collected during this event was 20,680 pounds (or 10.34 tons) of litter, along with 880 pounds of recyclables. They also collected 106 tires, coats, clothes, plastic furniture and pieces of cars, which were illegally dumped.

We continue our mission of improving Akron’s quality of life through beautification and responsible environmental management. We thank our donors and sponsors for supporting this mission. These supporters are listed on our donations page.





*The Litter Getter project was displayed at the 59th annual Akron Public Schools Science, Math and Technology Expo held at North High School on Saturday, January 24, 2015.




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