Frankfort, KY -- Governor Ernie Fletcher today kicked off the seventh annual Commonwealth Cleanup Week during a press conference at the capitol. The Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet (EPPC) is hosting the weeklong event - March 20-26 - to promote responsible solid waste practices.
"Our theme for 2005 is Waste Not, Want Not: Don't Throw Away Your Future," said Governor Fletcher. "This week provides an opportunity for all Kentuckians to take personal responsibility in cleaning up Kentucky. If we are to attract industry and tourists to Kentucky, we must have a clean state."
Governor Fletcher announced winners of the Commonwealth Cleanup Week environmental education contest:
- Amber Miller, who is in Chasity Taylor's class at Gallatin County Elementary. Amber's entry was a poster in the Grades 1-2 division - Make the world shine like a diamond: Please Recycle.
- Rhea Ann Hammer, Jennifer Turner's class at Tompkinsville Elementary, Monroe County. Rhea Ann's entry was a poster in the Grades 1-2 division - We love to clean up!
- Janet Kistler's class, Cub Run Elementary, Hart County. The class entry was a public awareness campaign, Grades 3-5 category. The students produced a series of campaign materials using the theme Do you want to live in a junkyard?
Amber and Rhea Ann each get $50 and a plaque and their schools will receive $1,500 grants to be used for environmental education programs. Ms. Kistler's students will receive a plaque for their classroom and a $2,500 grant to implement their campaign.
Nonprofit organizations that conduct cleanup activities in local communities are also eligible to win cash prizes. Organizations must register through their local solid waste coordinator and complete a cleanup project to be eligible for the $1,500, $1,000 and $500 prizes awarded by random drawing.
Other organizations supporting this year's event include Bluegrass PRIDE, solid waste coordinators of Kentucky and Keep America Beautiful's Great American CleanupTM as well as Governor Fletcher's office, state legislators, county and city officials, other state government entities and volunteer groups.
Commonwealth Cleanup Week also kicks off Kentucky's participation in the Great American Cleanup, a national event sponsored by Keep America Beautiful.
"Officials from Keep America Beautiful have recognized Kentucky as the top state in the nation for the collection and recycling of more than 860,000 waste tires during the 2004 campaign," said LaJuana S. Wilcher, secretary of the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet.
The Great American Cleanup netted a total of 1.2 million scrap tires nationwide from March to May 2004.
"Stray tires are an eyesore and they can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes," said G. Raymond Empson, president of Keep America Beautiful. "The collection and recycling effort of the State of Kentucky in 2004 was a tremendous community service and a wonderful example of Keep America Beautiful's mission in action."
The 1998 Kentucky General Assembly designated the last full week in March each year as Commonwealth Cleanup Week to put a special focus on "spring cleaning" the Commonwealth. For more information, visit the Commonwealth Cleanup Week page at the Division of Waste Management Web site. The page includes a link to a list of county solid waste coordinators.