KubotaoftheOzarks

Help bash trash during Missouri’s 16th annual Trash Bash

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missourians are being challenged to help “bash trash” during their 16th annual No MOre Trash! Bash, April 15 through May 15.

Coordinated by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), the month-long event focuses on “spring cleaning” the outdoors by asking people to pick up litter across Missouri from roadsides, parks, neighborhoods, rivers, streams, trails, and other places.

Trash Bash activities also include various educational efforts in schools, community events, and Earth Day celebrations around the state.

“Littering harms the environment and pollutes our waterways,” says Stacy Armstrong, MoDOT’s No MOre Trash! Coordinator. “Please consider the impact you can make on the environment by recycling, reusing, and disposing of waste properly.”

Each year, MoDOT spends about $6.75 million to remove litter from more than 385,000 acres of roadsides along 34,000 state highway miles. Annual volunteer efforts to pick up litter along Missouri highways are valued at more than $1 million.

Littering also hurts wildlife and Missouri outdoors.

These young volunteers got an early start on this year’s ‘Trash Bash’ by collecting 34 bags of trash and debris near Truman Lake.

“Many animals mistake litter for food and become sick and die when they try to ingest it,” said MDC No MOre Trash! Coordinator Joe Jerek. “Birds, fish, turtles, and other animals also get tangled in litter, such as plastic six-pack holders and fishing line, and it can kill them.”

Last year, volunteers collected more than 43,000 bags of litter and several truckloads of debris during the spring No More Trash! Bash. People also attended numerous educational events that stressed the importance of not littering.

Volunteers also participated through Adopt-A-Highway and Stream Team litter cleanup events. Missouri Stream Team Program volunteers removed 547 tons of litter from waterways and dedicated more than $2.3 million worth of volunteer time to litter removal statewide annually.

Volunteers are needed across the state this year to participate in litter cleanup activities. Participants can report their cleanup efforts and will receive a No MOre Trash! thank-you pin. For more information, visit nomoretrash.org, or call 1-888-ASK-MODOT (1-888-275-6636).

George Freeman is a veteran journalist and photographer. An award-winning writer, editor and columnist in Springfield, Mo., with more than 50 years experience. His preference is for positive and uplifting stories about people, places, traditions and trends that make the Ozarks one of the most livable regions anywhere. A member of the Garden Writers Association of America, he is a past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists of Southwest Missouri, the Kansas and Ohio AP societies; a board member of Friends of the Garden and a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield. In 1976, he traveled to India as a member of a Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange Team.

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