Keep Suffolk Beautiful: Volunteers needed for Great American Cleanup

Published 5:39 pm Friday, February 17, 2023

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Keep Suffolk Beautiful is leading efforts in the city to encourage individuals and groups to participate in this year’s Great American Cleanup. 

The event takes place across the region on March 24-25, with all Hampton Roads localities taking part in the initiative.

Volunteers receive all necessary supplies, including trash bags, litter grabbers, gloves and safety vests. Individuals can use their Suffolk Public Library card to check out litter-collecting kits from Suffolk Public Library locations that accommodate a group of four volunteers. 

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“People can choose to clean up their street, park or another location,” said Daniel McDonald, Suffolk Litter Control Coordinator. “We can assist with supplying equipment and coordinating the removal of trash bags and any debris after a cleanup. It is our desire to make participating as easy as possible.”

Regionally, the two-day Great American Cleanup event draws about 1,000 Hampton Roads volunteers each year to conduct a clean sweep of the region. Military commands, local businesses and non-profits join forces with local governments and private citizens to remove litter, improve public parks, and complete beautification projects such as tending to community gardens, according to a news release. In Suffolk, last year’s Great American Cleanup, 235 volunteers donated an accumulated 630 hours of their time to collect 5,325 pounds of litter and debris in a collective effort to help keep Suffolk beautiful.

With less scattered trash, the city is more appealing to tourists and residents, Suffolk officials explained. The trash also can get into waterways and clog storm drains, causing negative environmental effects. 

“Cleanups are a great way to give back to your city,” McDonald said, “…and it can be a unique way to meet your neighbors and have some fun.”  

Individuals who cannot participate in the event are encouraged to pick up litter collection kits at Suffolk Litter Control or Suffolk Public Library locations which are available year-round for volunteers to use. 

To register your cleanup and reserve supplies please call (757) 514-7604 or