- Sept. 14, 2021
-- The leadership team at Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful had high hopes of fostering a conversation between industry leaders, litter prevention experts, officials at Keep America Beautiful and Gwinnett County residents at a first of its kind "Connecting People and Places: A Community Conversation about Litter" in Fall 2021. But with COVID-19 cases on the rise, out of an abundance of caution, the difficult choice has been made to table the discussion until 2022. Originally slated for October 5 at Georgia Gwinnett College, the new date will be announced at a later time.
"It goes without saying that we're disappointed the event can't take place at this time," said Schelly Marlatt, Executive Director of Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful. "While it was designed to be a hybrid event – where our neighbors could send in their questions and suggestions for us to put in front of our esteemed group of in-person panelists and speakers – we don't want to put the health and safety of any of our participants and attendees at risk. It's a very important conversation that we need to have, but it can wait until a later date while we work together as a nation to get a handle on COVID-19 once again."
Inspired by the results of Keep America Beautiful's 2020 National Litter Study (https://kab.org/litter-study/
) – which showed a promising 54% decrease in roadside litter over the past decade – the Community Conversation was intended to engage local citizens to help identify community-based actions to reduce litter. The recent findings of Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful's Community Appearance Index – entailing the surveillance of 192 sites in unincorporated Gwinnett and within city limits – illustrated a slight uptick in litter locally.
"Although it's true that we can't have the conversation that we'd hoped to have at this time, there are still powerful ways our neighbors can have an impact on litter beginning right away," added Marlatt. "On the heels of its Litter Study, Keep America Beautiful has launched a #152AndYou campaign – encouraging citizens to pick up 152 pieces of litter to combat the estimated 50 billion pieces of litter on the ground in America. It's easier to do than many might think – simply bring a trash bag along on your trip to the park or evening walk around the neighborhood."
To learn more about Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful programs and events, please visit www.GwinnettCB.org