10 localities launch effort, seek partners to spread message, change behaviors
A coalition of 10 localities across the region is launching a litter-prevention campaign — Don’t Trash Central Virginia — ahead of next month’s 50th annual observance of Earth Day in hopes of reducing the amount of trash along roadways, in neighborhoods and in other parts of the community.
The campaign features a logo that can be customized by localities, businesses, organizations and other partners, with their names replacing “Central Virginia,” for use in promotional materials and on social media.
The campaign will complement local litter-prevention efforts while underscoring a broader message that litter is a costly, regional problem that can be addressed with greater awareness, engagement and behavioral changes at the community and individual levels. The campaign logo captures the simple but deliberate act of a person putting waste into a trash can.
“Litter is incredibly wasteful, and it’s a problem that is entirely solvable if we each do our part,” said Martha Heeter, executive director of PlanRVA, a regional planning organization facilitating the campaign. “From cigarette butts to fast-food cups and to old, abandoned tires, litter is harmful to wildlife and the environment. It can clog storm drains and contribute to localized flooding. It’s unsightly and projects a lack of community pride. On top of all that, many localities devote considerable time and money to litter cleanup — resources that could be put to better use in countless other ways.”
The Don’t Trash Central Virginia campaign is being launched today by a coalition that consists of the Town of Ashland; the counties of Chesterfield, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, New Kent and Powhatan; and the cities of Hopewell, Petersburg and Richmond.
Other partners, including municipalities, businesses and community organizations, are encouraged to join the effort and to participate in a variety of ways, such as by educating their employees, posting campaign stickers or posters, promoting the campaign on social media, organizing or supporting a cleanup effort and implementing litter-prevention strategies on their properties.
The campaign is expected to expand in a variety of ways, including a public challenge to identify a social media hashtag. For now, the campaign will use #DontTrashCentralVA.
To sign up or to access resources for the Don’t Trash Central Virginia campaign, go to donttrashcentralva.org.