April is Litter Awareness Month in Prince William County, which means that it’s officially time for spring cleaning to begin. There are several events planned throughout the month to help bring attention to the “dirty” topic of litter, which does not get much attention throughout the year.
“Litter looks bad,” said Prince William County Solid Waste Division Chief Thomas Smith. “If you’re jogging, riding a bike or walking, and you see litter, it just gives you a bad feeling. It gets into our lakes and our streams; and it affects animals and fish in our habitats. It’s just bad, not only for our community, but for our environment, as well.”
Several community clean-up events are planned across the county in April; including several dumpster days, road and river clean-ups, park spruce-ups, and contests.
Sponsored by Keep Prince William Beautiful and supported by the county, the events are designed to raise awareness about litter while at the same time helping people in the county get their neighborhoods and public areas squared away after a long winter.
“Every weekend in April, there are clean ups going on throughout our community. In addition, our Police Department will be taking special efforts to enforce litter laws. For example, it is a requirement that you cover your load on your vehicle or truck,” Smith said. “When you’re traveling, don’t throw litter out of your window. When they see that happening, they’re going to be stopping citizens and issuing citations.”
On April 5, people who are interested can participate in the 26th Annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup, the Yorkshire Dumpster Day or the Bristoe Station Battlefield Annual Park Cleanup. On April 12, there will be an Occoquan River Cleanup Day, a Town of Quantico Dumpster Day and the Rippon Lodge Cleanup Day. The Thousand Oaks Townhome Association Dumpster Day will be on April 19. CSX Railroad will host a U.S. 1 Cleanup Day on April 26. Activities during all of the clean-up events will run between 9 a.m. and noon. The Balls Ford Compost Facility will host a Compost Awareness Day between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on April 26.
Visit the Keep Prince William Beautiful website (www.kpwb.org/litter-awareness-month-campaign) or call 571-285-3772 for more information about how to participate in these activities.
Smith said he hopes people from across the county will participate in the cleanup events. “We want citizens to be aware, as well as get involved. We’d like you to get involved in your local community,” Smith said.
And he wants people to remember that you can help keep our community clean all year round. “Our hope is that they’ll remember throughout the year that litter is bad and is not good for our environment or our communities.”