Almost a quarter million Slovenian people came together one sunny morning in April to clean up their country, while a bit further north in Europe, another 100,000 citizens did the same in Lithuania.
The call for the nationwide clean-up action started on the internet between two people and ended with the engagement of many more volunteers than organizers expected — 12% of Slovenia’s entire population joined the effort. The volunteers, motivated by anger over illegal dumping of industrial and household waste, collected more than 25,000 tons of rubbish from forests, villages and roads.
Government, private firms, police and non-profit groups jumped in to help, with companies and municipal authorities contributing nearly 1000 trucks, roaring down the roads and transporting garbage from cleaning spots to garbage processing and recycling centers all across the country.
Initiatives were inspired by the Let’s Do It! clean-up of Estonia in2008, when more than 50,000 people cleaned that country in just 5hours, picking up more than 10,000 tons of illegal garbage. The actioninspired a series on Let’s do it! country-cleanups elsewhere, like aMarch clean-up day in Portugal involving 110,000 volunteers. Also onthe website, actions are being planned for Romania, Kiev, Ukraine and New Delhi, India.
“More than 10,400 illegal dumpsites have been documented on an easilyaccessible online registry, that will continue to be publicly availableand regularly updated on the internet,” Slovenia organizers said. “Itincludes all important data about all illegal dumpsites, as well asphotos. This is an important asset for the prevention and monitoring offuture illegal waste dumping.“
Mr. Janez Potocnik, a Slovenian and the European Commissioner for theEnvironment participated in the cleaning action, and proposed the ideaof an all-Europe clean-up for 2011.
For more information about the Let’s do it! clean-ups being planned in different countries, and related news, visit the Let’s do it! World website.
(THANKS to Mary Wright for submitting the link!)