HAMPTON — This city has its very own task force dedicated to keeping the streets clean and free of litter: Hampton’s Clean City Commission.
The commission was established in 1978 by City Council with the purpose of pushing the city’s residents to take an active role in keeping their communities clean.
They are a partner with Keep America Beautiful and report to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.
Debbie Blanton, clean city coordinator, has been volunteering and working with the commission since 1987.
The program runs with approximately 5,000 volunteers a year servicing the city all year-round.
Litter on the streets has an 80 percent chance of ending up in the waterways, Blanton said, and it’s the commission’s goal to keep that from happening.
The commission runs and participates in projects such as Adopt-a-Spot, litter clean up events, Clean the Bay Day, and many more.
Adopt-a-spot is one of its biggest programs, Blanton said, and it’s how residents take an active role in their communities’ litter problems.
A summer-specific program the commission offers is the “Yards are Distinctive Showplaces” competition.
This competition is there to encourage everyone in Hampton to have sustainable yards, Blanton said.
A few ways a yard can be sustainable are:
- Non use of pesticides
- 60 percent or less of grass
- Rain barrels to avoid major run-off to storm drains
As with every effort, the contest challenges residents to be eco-friendly and sustainable.
Blanton wants residents to recognize themselves has owners of their city and local environment.
She said people are less likely to litter in a place that is well cared for or well kept.
To learn about the Hampton Clean City Commission, click here.