Volunteers clean up Topeka in honor of Earth Day

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – For several years, volunteers have helped clean up parts of the city by picking up trash and throwing it away – all to honor Earth Day. Every year, people with “Keep America Beautiful — Topeka/Shawnee County’s Get Down and Get Dirty” take a look around the city and see which parts of Topeka need the most help. The “Get Down and Get Dirty” event’s purpose is to teach others it’s not okay to litter.

“We do it around our neighborhood also and it’s nice to see everything picked up and green instead of having trash and nastiness out,” volunteer, Michelle Andrew said.

Team leader, Paula Hladky said the area on Wanamaker Rd. has tons of trash, especially by Walmart and Sam’s Club — a lot of which she says is due to people unloading groceries and letting their plastic bags go.

“Some of it is people just don’t think before they throw things,” Hladky said. “I’ve picked up a lot of water bottles today that people have drank a couple of drinks and then they throw the water bottle in the ditch.”

The program is broken up into teams. Each group is spread throughout Topeka to help keep the city trash free. “Get Down and Get Dirty” has more than 1,000 volunteers and they all received free t-shirts for their time.

“There’s definitely a lot of trash and you don’t really realize it until you get out and start picking it up,” Andrew said. “If you can see it from your car, there’s tons more there. It’s under the grass and it’s hidden.”

In the end, volunteers went to Gage Park for some lunch and giveaways to celebrate what they’ve done in cleaning up the Capital City.

Other events going on for April 29, 2017 include:

Free landfill day, with fees waived from 7am-12pm at Rolling Meadows Recycling, 7351 N.W. US-75 highway.

Free yard waste disposal from 8am-12pm and 1-4:45 pm At Garick Biomass Yard Materials Recycling Facility, I-70 and N.W. Macvicar Ave.

Household hazardous waste collection from 9-12pm at 131 N.E. 46th.

E-cycle event with city of Topeka and Shawnee County.

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