By Tamas Mondovics

Tampa Bay area residents are once again called on to take part in the biggest annual clean-up effort along the Hillsborough River, Alafia River and other waterways.

Scheduled for Saturday, September 19, and organized by Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful (KTBB), the event is dubbed as one gigantic day of service, environmental education, friendly competition and family fun.

Evenson emphasized that last year more than 4,000 volunteers participated in the cleanup throughout Hillsborough County and have removed well over 60,500 pounds of litter and debris from more than 75 locations.

“We are expecting the same turnout again this year and are urging residents to come out and join us,” she said. “We love our volunteers who are the backbone of our organization. It is only with their help that we can enjoy the environmental health of our community.”

The campaign’s activities includes litter removal, recycling, park cleanup, painting and renewal programs, clothing collections, graffiti removal, beautification and refurbishing projects, and river, lake and seashore cleanups.

Participants will join nearly 2.5 million others in more than 15,000 communities just within this country to make their neighborhoods cleaner and more beautiful places to live in.

KTBB officials said that as part of the effort, volunteers collect data to identify the number and type of littered items, the overall tonnage removed from each site and the amount of recyclable materials diverted.

The information is used to determine future needs and projects within the community while creating awareness. Data is shared with Keep America Beautiful, the Ocean Conservancy, as well as local officials to help provide a local and global perspective.

Tampa Bay Beautification (founded in 1989) and Keep Hillsborough County Beautiful (founded in 1992) merged in 2012 to form Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful. KTBB is the local affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s largest volunteer-based community.

For more information or to register for the upcoming annual clean up please visit