Our Opinion: Spring cleanup restores Missouri's scenic beauty

We’re not inclined to let cooler temperatures and a little snow deter us from the theme of spring preparations and initiatives.

Among the annual rites of spring is a thorough seasonal cleanup and one statewide manifestation is the No MOre Trash! Bash.

The annual event takes place throughout April and is sponsored by the state’s Transportation and Conservation departments.

“Littering isn’t just ugly, it hurts wildlife, it costs Missourians millions of tax dollars each year, and it’s illegal,” said Conservation employee and event coordinator Joe Jerek. “Birds, fish, turtles and other animals get tangled in litter, such as plastic six-pack holders and fishing line, and it can kill them. Litter poisons fish, birds and other wildlife and can cost a litterer up to $1,000 in fines and one year in jail.”

Joining last year’s effort were more than 12,000 volunteers, who collected more than 128,000 bags of trash and many more truckloads of debris. Those volunteers represented the Transportation and Conservation agencies, Adopt-A-Highway and Stream Team programs and the public.

Additional information is available at www.nomoretrash.org. In addition, people may report their activities on the site and receive a free lapel pin for their efforts.

“Besides the recognition, we all get a little exercise, some fresh air, and a cleaner place to work, live and play,” said Stacy Armstrong, who coordinates the event for the Transportation department.

Littering is not only unsightly, it is expensive.

The Transportation agency spends more than $5 million annually removing roadside litter, and the Conservation department spends nearly $1 each year on clean-up efforts.

Participation in the No MOre Trash! Bash saves tax dollars, protects wildlife and discourages additional littering. In addition, it preserves the scenic beauty for all to enjoy.

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