Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

COVID delays, but can’t quash, Great Harrisburg Litter Cleanup

A trash pickup in Harrisburg (file photo)

With people spending so much time outside to avoid being cooped up at home, Eileen Carson has seen a lot more trash scattered on the streets of her Midtown neighborhood.

On Saturday, along with the neighborhood group Friends of Midtown, she will help clean it up.

This will mark the eighth year that community members in the city come together to help beautify their neighborhoods during the Great Harrisburg Litter Cleanup.

“This is an effort to make Harrisburg a cleaner place to live, work and play,” said Danielle Krebs, communications manager for the nonprofit, Tri County Community Action.

Originally scheduled for April, the event was moved to September due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Tri County Community Action is responsible for organizing the citywide event that spans Allison Hill, Midtown and Uptown Harrisburg. The Great Harrisburg Litter Cleanup is an initiative of the coalition Clean & Green Harrisburg and Keep Harrisburg/Dauphin County Beautiful.

Last year, over 300 volunteers worked to dispose of 26 tons of trash. With the coronavirus this year, Krebs isn’t sure what to expect.

“People are stuck inside,” she said. “This is a good way to get out and get involved.”

Krebs added that Tri County’s Revitalization Team, which is coordinating the day, believes that sustainable change starts and ends with the community. This is a way to foster a sense of respect and ownership of neighborhoods.

“We love our community, and we want it to look good,” Carson said. “It’s a community effort to beautify.”

The event runs from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., and Carson said that people are invited to participate for as long as they can.

Krebs said that Tri County will supply trash bags, gloves and water.

“It’s not a glamorous day, but everyone is very excited to get to make a difference in the community,” said Veronica Kelly, neighborhood revitalization coordinator.

Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority, the City of Harrisburg, Capital Region Water, Highmark and the Harrisburg Downtown Improvement District are some of the sponsors for the day.

“We really want people to be agents of change in the community,” Krebs said. “We should come together especially in times like these.”

Preregistration for the event is closed, but people can sign up on the day-of at one of the registration sites.

The Great Harrisburg Litter Cleanup takes place Sept. 26 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. For more information, visit Tri County Community Action’s website.

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