As national parks face problems with unmanaged waste during the government shutdown, Keep America Beautiful and Nestlé Waters North America are teaming up to help mobilize affiliate organizations and volunteers across the country to clean up these shared public spaces.
This national effort will kick off on St. Simons Island in Georgia. The Keep America Beautiful local affiliate, Keep Golden Isles Beautiful in Brunswick, Ga., has committed, with the help of more than 40 new volunteers added to its existing volunteer pool, to clean up and maintain trash and recycling container service at the historic Fort Frederica National Monument and the Bloody Marsh National Monument during the government shutdown.
"The Keep America Beautiful national network of community-based affiliates is committed to ending litter and ensuring our public spaces are beautiful places for all to enjoy," said Randy Hartmann, senior director of affiliate operations for Keep America Beautiful, in a statement. "While our volunteers can't totally abate and remove the litter and debris that is amassing at our national parks and public lands during the government shutdown, our affiliates have offered their assistance in the communities they serve to support the parks during this time of need. We thank our partner at Nestlé Waters North America for supporting our efforts to help grow our volunteer base and contain the growing trash and litter at our national parks and public lands."
Other Keep America Beautiful affiliates are actively engaging national parks staff in their areas to provide support for cleanups as future needs arise. Nestlé Waters North America has generously offered resources, through financial donations and employee volunteers, to assist in these efforts.
"At Nestlé Waters North America, we believe that even one bottle or can that is not recycled properly is one too many. When we heard about the need in our national parks, we wanted to help," said John Caturano, senior manager of packaging and recycling programs at Nestlé Waters North America, in a statement. "Caring for our natural environment is fundamental to the work that we do every day, so we are proud to support the great work of Keep America Beautiful and to help play a part in ensuring these beautiful public places continue to be trash free and protected."
This initiative is the latest example of the partnership between Keep America Beautiful and Nestlé Waters to address waste and recycling issues around the country. In 2017, the two organizations, along with other corporate partners, launched an integrated recycling education and awareness initiative for the 10,000 school students affected by the water crisis in Flint, Mich. That same year, in Florida, Nestlé Waters, through its Zephyrhills Brand, also partnered with Keep America Beautiful to increase access to on-the-go recycling on beaches and at other public recreation locations along Florida's waterways.