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Department of Corrections and PennDOT Highlight Partnerships to Reduce Litter

06/07/2022

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) teamed up today in a show of support for the Harrisburg Community Correction Center's (CCC) litter clean-up effort, an example of broader administration efforts to combat litter.

"As we enter into our springtime maintenance activities, litter is still a focus area for us at PennDOT," said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. "Partnering with the Harrisburg Community Correction Center presents an opportunity for reentrants to perform important community service, while saving taxpayer dollars that would have been spent cleaning up our roadways. Every dollar we have to spend on litter cleanup is a dollar we cannot invest in our system."

Approximately 20 residents of the Harrisburg CCC pitched in for today's clean-up of a section of Cameron Street in downtown Harrisburg. DOC reentrants have participated in nine similar cleanup events across the commonwealth since April, and more are scheduled throughout the summer months. This type of agency and community collaboration was among the recommendations in the commonwealth's first-ever Litter Action Plan released last year.

"Community service is integral to successful reentry," said DOC Deputy Secretary for Reentry Kelly Evans.  "Community service helps reentrants give back to their community and provides valuable experience of engaging in prosocial activities while giving back."  

PennDOT provided safety materials to the CCC volunteers, including signage along the roadway that a litter pickup crew is ahead, safety vests, gloves, and bags. PennDOT has also agreed to dispose of the trash.

PennDOT spends roughly $14 million annually on statewide litter efforts. Department programs such as Adopt-A-Highway and Sponsor-A-Highway allow groups and businesses to volunteer to adopt or pay to sponsor cleanup and beautification on roadways across the state.

"Everyone wins with this program," added DS Evans. "Our volunteer reentrants are being productive as they reintegrate into their communities – and PennDOT gets the help they need, and Pennsylvania taxpayers enjoy cleaner roads while saving money."

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