LiveGreen Ambassadors participate in campus clean-up

On Dec. 7, med center students, staff and faculty participated in a campus clean-up event, or a “flash trash mob,” outside the Durham Research Center.

Together, the participants filled one waste bag with litter that was sent to the landfill. Items that could be recycled were picked up and separated appropriately.

The 2020 National Litter Study found that there are almost 50 billion pieces of litter, or about 152 pieces per resident, along U.S. roadways and waterways. The study found that more than 207 million pieces of litter are personal protective equipment, such as gloves and masks.

Litter affects environmental, community and individual health, as well as quality of life, economic development, water safety, environmental justice and the urban habitat. Preventing litter from spreading further on and off campus makes the community healthier and safer and protects the natural environment.

Many clean-up participants noted how enjoyable and fulfilling it was to spend time outside, doing something meaningful to benefit their environment, campus and community. Participants also provided helpful feedback, such as identifying spaces on campus that could benefit from new waste infrastructure.

The event was made possible through support from the UNMC Office of Sustainability’s new community partner, the Blue Bucket Project. The Blue Bucket Project is a nonprofit with a mission to engage Omaha community members to make the city litter-free.

The organization leads “flash trash mobs” by completing one-hour litter clean-up projects throughout Omaha and providing all the supplies needed. It also offers free litter pick-up starter kits to households to clean up their neighborhoods.

Cindy Tefft, who represented the Blue Bucket Project for the event, said: “Part of the Blue Bucket Project’s mission is to provide equipment, resources and opportunities to groups, families or individuals who would like to help keep our community cleaner, safer, more attractive and litter-free. It is very rewarding seeing the difference we are all making for a more sustainable environment.”

Visit the Blue Bucket Project’s website to order a starter kit, organize an event or learn more about the organization.

Anyone interested in participating in future clean-up events can contact Jerrod Bley at the UNMC Office of Sustainability.

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