Greensboro has a litter problem. What are people doing about it?

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — It’s time for spring cleaning, and not just in your home, but in your neighborhood and across the City of Greensboro.

The City of Greensboro is launching a “Keep the Green Clean” campaign, a way to help raise awareness about the growing litter problem in the city.

“We recognize that the attractiveness of our community is and always has been important. We just want to remind people that littering is not acceptable, we want people to take pride in our community by helping keep it clean,” City Manager David Parrish said.

Parrish says litter has been a growing issue over the last year, resulting in calls to the city for help.

“We’ve had some complaints and some concerns called in,” he said. “It also impacts the way people view our city. If there’s an area that feels neglected, people go and drive by, they think no one cares, it becomes apathy, and people start to add to it.”

City crews have seen how litter can add up to a big problem. There’s a dedicated team monitoring 10 different sites on foot and with 10 cameras placed at frequent illegal dumping sites. Those crews try to tackle what they can, but the issue is beyond those areas.

“We have crews that can do litter sweeps, but that can only do so much. So we need the public’s help in keeping it down but in picking it up too,” Parrish said.

Greensboro Beautiful works to help keep the city clean. For this spring’s Great American Clean Up effort, the organization noted more than 80 different sites in the city that need attention. Those vary from specific roads like Lewiston Road to parks like Mitchell Park, neighborhoods like the White Horse Farms Neighborhood, even parking lots, and streams in Kings Forest Park.

This clean-up effort starts April 17 and runs through May 2. You need a group of ten or less and you can sign up using this online form.

The city is also working with the North Carolina Department of Transportation on their efforts to clean state-maintained roadways.

Since the beginning of the year, the NCDOT has reported crews have picked up more than 3 million pounds of litter. Clean up can cost millions of dollars and can also hurt the environment.

“It’s unattractive but it also can cause an environmental problem. It becomes a problem in the streams that these things eventually make their way to, it becomes a problem in our watersheds, but it’s just something that we hope everyone will take pride in and hopefully help keep our community clean,” the city manager said.

NCDOT and the City of Greensboro are also encouraging people to get involved through the Swat-A-Litterbug app. This is a free app you can use to report trash being thrown out of a vehicle. Once the report is done, the State Highway Patrol will alert the offender about the offense and the penalties. You can find information about the Swat-A-Litterbug app on the NCDOT website.

You can also participate in the NCDOT Litter Sweep which runs through April 24. To sign up you can find the NCDOT Litter Sweep on the NCDOT website.

To help year round in the City of Greensboro you can also sign up for the Adopt A Street or Adopt A Stream Program.

“We want people to take pride in it, keep it clean. Visitors see it, our residents see it. It’s important for our community health and prosperity,” Parrish said.

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