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Local News

March 3, 2014

Group looking to get tough on litter

A regional startup is looking to inspire area residents to give back to their communities. 

Keep Mohawk Valley Beautiful, a private not-for-profit organization, was established with the goal of creating sustainable, socially connected, environmentally healthy and economically sound communities in the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council region, which includes Otsego and Schoharie counties. 

KMVB chairman Bob Albrecht noted in a media release that New York ranks last in the nation among volunteer work hours, adding that “Keep Mohawk Valley Beautiful is organizing to change that starting immediately.”

The group is organizing a local Great American Cleanup initiative to bring people together for coordinated community improvement efforts. 

“We know that spring cleanups occur in most communities and that many dedicated groups and individuals have picked up litter for years, but Keep Mohawk Valley Beautiful is working to coordinate the efforts,” Albrecht said. 

The group plans to log volunteer hours to hep support grant applications and attract Keep America Beautiful’s national partners to the area. 

“We’re already doing the work, and now it’s time to get full benefit from that work,” Albrecht said. “It’s all about leverage.”

The Great American Cleanup is organized through Keep America Beautiful, a public-private partnership initiative started in the early 1950s to promote a national cleanliness ethic. 

Besides beautifying neighborhoods and rural areas, Albrecht said that volunteer work can have financial benefits as well. 

“There’s a direct link between building sustainable communities and economic development,” Albrecht noted. “Volunteers and public/private partnerships build strong communities, and strong communities attract investment.”

Related projects include a litter index, where volunteers drive through their neighborhoods looking for spots that need cleaning up, and Adopt-a-Spot, where volunteers invest their time in one of the places discovered during the litter inventory. Other planned initiatives include community gardening and recycling. 

According to Albrecht, the group is working to build a network of individuals, service groups, municipalities and businesses. Anyone wanting more information can email Albrecht at

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