Missouri’s 16th annual No MOre Trash! Bash will focus on “spring cleaning” the outdoors by asking residents to pick up litter throughout the state during April 15 – May 15. The litter prevention campaign is sponsored by the Missouri departments of Conservation and Transportation.

“Littering harms the environment and pollutes our waterways,” said Stacy Armstrong, MoDOT’s No MOre Trash! coordinator. “Please consider the impact you can make on the environment by recycling, reusing and disposing of waste properly.”

The annual Trash Bash encourages people to clean up litter across Missouri from roadsides, parks, neighborhoods, rivers, streams, trails and other places during April. Trash Bash activities also include educational efforts in schools, community events and Earth Day celebrations.

Each year, MoDOT spends about $6.75 million to remove litter from more than 385,000 acres of roadsides along 34,000 state highway miles. Annual volunteer efforts to pick up litter along Missouri highways are valued at more than $1 million.

Last year, more than 43,000 bags of litter and several truckloads of debris were picked up during the spring No More Trash! Bash. People also attended numerous educational events stressing the importance of not littering. Volunteers participated through Adopt-A-Highway and Stream Team litter cleanup events. Missouri Stream Team Program volunteers removed 547 tons of litter from waterways and dedicated more than $2.3 million worth of volunteer time to litter removal statewide annually.

Littering also hurts wildlife and Missouri outdoors.

“Many animals mistake litter for food and become sick and die when they try to ingest it,” said Joe Jerek, the Missouri Department of Conservation’s No MOre Trash! coordinator. “Birds, fish, turtles and other animals get tangled in litter, such as plastic six-pack holders and fishing line, and it can kill them.”

Volunteers are needed across the state to participate in litter cleanup activities. Participants can report their cleanup efforts and will receive a thank you No MOre Trash! pin. For more information and to learn how to participate, visit http://www.nomoretrash.org/ or call 1-888-ASK-MODOT (1-888-275-6636).