Suffolk wins anti-litter award

Published 11:32 pm Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Keep Suffolk Beautiful, a quasi-public agency whose purpose is to promote public interest in the general improvement of the environment, has been recognized as one of the top such organizations around the nation, officials announced Wednesday.

Keep Suffolk Beautiful has been recognized as one of the “Best of the Best” nationwide, and it has received the President’s Circle Award, which “recognizes exemplary performance made by certified affiliates to the national nonprofit in building and sustaining vibrant communities,” Suffolk officials stated in a press release on Thursday.

In qualifying for a President’s Circle Award, Keep Suffolk Beautiful has met Keep America Beautiful’s standards of excellence by conducting an annual Community Appearance Index, calculating the affiliate’s cost/benefit ratio, and administering activities in the areas of litter prevention, recycling and waste reduction, and beautification and community greening, the release stated.

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“One of Keep America Beautiful’s most effective tools is the work of our grassroots network of affiliate organizations, which has an impact on millions of Americans each year,” said Keep America Beautiful President and CEO Matt McKenna.

“Our affiliates are providing real solutions to local problems caused by litter, graffiti, illegal dumping and other community blight by engaging volunteers of all ages in its effort to create a vibrant community.”

Keep Suffolk Beautiful was established in 2004, when it became an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful Inc., but it can trace its roots back through the decades to the Suffolk Beautification and Litter Control Commission and then the Clean Community Commission, which was established in the 1980s.

The commission consists of eight members appointed by the City Council from each of the seven boroughs, along with the president of the Council of Garden Clubs. Four additional members appointed by the City Council represent various businesses, the Chamber of Commerce and the fast-food, banking, solid waste and homebuilding industries. Those members are currently divided between six commissioners and six Keep Suffolk beautiful executive board members. They serve four-year terms.

In addition to promoting public interest in the environment, the organization initiates, plans and coordinates litter control programs; encourages the placing, planting or preservation of trees, flowers, plants, shrubs and other ornamental objects; and implements programs designed to carry out the mission of the Suffolk Beautiful program.

The chairwoman of the Suffolk Clean Community Commission, Kathy L. Russell, and Crystal G. Boyd, executive director of Keep Suffolk Beautiful and Litter Control Coordinator with the city of Suffolk, attended the President’s Circle Award luncheon in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 2 to accept the award on behalf of Keep Suffolk Beautiful.