Pick Up the Poconos
Through its anti-littering efforts, the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau is committed to keeping roads clean and beautifying the region.
The “Pick Up the Poconos” campaign has resulted in nearly 15,445 bags of litter being picked up and properly disposed of.
Pick Up the Poconos is a campaign created by the PMVB, designed to reduce litter in the region. Here’s a list of our efforts and accomplishments:
- Continuous ads running to instill the importance of not littering and everyone doing their part to help; billboards, TV, radio, social media posts and news segments.
- Working with numerous local waste disposal organizations, crews, community leaders and more.
- Our official campaign hashtag is #PickUpThePoconos. Are you helping pick up the Poconos? Share your photos on social media with the hashtag to spread the word!
- Partnering with the Pocono Mountains United Way, RHD’s Street 2 Feet and The Waste Authority for Pocono Community Caring Company (Pocono 3C). The program gives those less fortunate the opportunity to gain work experience by picking up litter to make our area more beautiful (see more).
- From July 2019 - June 2021, Pocono 3C removed 6,835 bags of trash and 473 tires from 501 miles of roadway.
- Adopted two roadways in the Poconos, which PMVB employees pick up periodically (160 bags to date).
- Hired the Adopt-A-Highway Litter Removal Service of America, Inc. to clean six times per year on Interstate 80, Interstate 380 and numerous highway entrance/exit ramps (7,311 bags picked up to date).
- Worked with Senator Mario Scavello to pass Senate Bill 431, now Act 62 of 2018, to reduce littering across Pennsylvania by requiring offenders to pick up trash and increasing the penalties of littering.
- Put together an official Pick Up the Poconos Day of Monroe County, working with Monroe 2030, Monroe County Commissioners and the Monroe County Council of Governments
- The Pick Up the Poconos Day took place on September 29, 2018 with 327 volunteers who filled 741 bags of litter, covering approximately 88 miles of roads
- The second annual Pick Up the Poconos Day took place on September 28, 2019 with 371 volunteers who filled 738 bags of litter, covering approximately 60 miles of roads
- The third annual Pick Up the Poconos Day took place on September 26, 2020 with 234 volunteers who filled 421 bags of litter, covering approximately 60 miles of roads throughout Wayne, Pike, Monroe and Carbon counties. Another volunteer group, Keep Hawley-Honesdale Beautiful, coordinated its cleanup efforts around Pick Up the Poconos Day and added dozens of volunteers and hundreds of bags of litter to the final tally.
- The PMVB added a Pick Up the Poconos Spring Cleanup in honor of Earth Day, which took place on April 24, 2021. More than 200 volunteers fanned out across the four-country region and removed more than 540 bags of litter in addition to large items such as a mattress, TV, and pieces of metal from the river.
- Legislation was also passed in the House to officially recognize September 29, 2018 as “Pick Up the Poconos Day,” thanks to Representative Rosemary Brown - House Resolution 1090.
Our official campaign hashtag is #PickUpThePoconos. Are you helping pick up the Poconos? Share your photos on social media with the hashtag to spread the word!
Prevention – Hold onto your trash until you can dispose of it properly. Never throw anything outside a vehicle’s window. Make sure truck tarps and straps are held down tight so no debris can escape. Do not overfill garbage cans or dumpsters. Secure garbage cans from animals like raccoons and bears.
Leave No Trace – When exploring the Poconos, any trash with you. Leave only footprints on hiking trails, rivers, and downtown streets.
Come Prepared – If you are visiting for the day, create a plan for the trash you may generate. If there are no trash cans where you will be exploring, bring a trash bag with you and find the closest public trash drop-off - or put it in the trunk and bring it home. Never leave trash on the side of the road, or in any unsolicited area.
Pick it Up – If you see litter and it’s safe to do so, pick it up. If you are going hiking, bring along an empty plastic bag and pick up any trash you see as you go. If you are visiting for a few days, make it a goal to pick up at least one piece of garbage per day. Every day is Earth Day in the Pocono Mountains!
Spread the Word – The more that people are aware of the effects of littering, the less litter there will be. If you see somebody littering, tell them the consequences.
Reduce Energy Use – When you leave your hotel room, turn off the AC/heat, lights, and television. Reduce the amount of water used for bathing or showering. Participate in the hotel linen programs or let the hotel know that it's not necessary to change your sheets and towels every day.
Reduce Toiletries Waste – When visiting, bring your own shampoo, soap, toothpaste, etc.
Reduce Transportation – Enjoy walking tours and walk where sensible. Carpool and use public transportation when available. Try to group your destinations for the most efficient route to reduce fuel consumption and emissions.
Recycle – Participate in hotel recycling programs by placing recyclables in appropriate bins.
Inform Others on the Nearest Dump and Recycling Sites – Rental properties should provide instructions on trash pick-up or drop-off. Nearby residents can point visitors in the right direction for the nearest dump or recycling center.
Get Involved – See what your community is doing to help battle litter and help out. Or, plan your own community clean up using the 5-step guide below. Refer to our Safety Tips and list of Resources for more help.
- Wear reflective clothing (such as a reflective vest) when working on, or alongside, a roadway.
- Wear protective clothing as well, such as long pants, closed-toe shoes, and safety glasses.
- If you are working 15 feet or closer to the road, make sure you put up cones or signs warning drivers.
- A good rule of thumb is to place signs or cones 10x the speed limit before the start of the work area (ex. If the speed limit is 35mph, place the cones or signs 350ft before the work area).
- Be aware of traffic and do not cross the road where it is not safe.
- Be sure to keep bug spray, sunscreen, a cell phone, a first aid kit, snacks, and water on hand.
- Park all cars as far off the road as you can, and carpool when possible to reduce of cars on the side of the road.
- Work only during non-peak travel times.
- Work on one side of the road at a time and face oncoming traffic.
- Do not wear headphones to listen to you will need to be able to listen for traffic.
- Be alert for hidden holes and rocks.
- Watch out for plants and animals that may be dangerous.
- Be alert for stinging insects, rodents, snakes, deer, and bears. Leave them alone if spotted.
- Avoid poison ivy (“leaves of three, let it be”) and giant (8-14’ tall stems with small white flowers).
- When finding hazardous or radioactive materials, note location and call the police. A good rule of thumb is: If you do not know what the item is, don’t touch it.
- Do not try to pick up tires, heavy objects, or roadkill. Instead, call 1-800-FIX-ROAD and a time will be scheduled to pick it up.
- Call 1-800-FIX-ROAD to have heavy objects, tires, and roadkill removed that you spot on the sides of roadways
- Inquire about the garbage policy when renting a house or cabin in the Poconos
- Monroe County recycling locations
- Wayne County recycling center and other recycling resources in Wayne County
- Responsible waste disposal of tires, CFL & fluorescent bulbs, and electronics for Monroe County residents
- Wayne County solid waste disposal locations
- Promote energy efficiency, renewable energy, and sustainable living with SEEDS
- Contact and coordinate with your township, county, or municipality office if you are planning to do a pick-up on your own
- Helps reduce risk in picking up litter along a roadway
- They may be able to help with bags, gloves, cones, etc.
- It allows them to retrieve bags when your group is finished picking up
- Wesley Schultz Study
- Pocono Raceway – Just one initiative to stay green is their solar farm committed to producing clean energy for the business, as well as some spillover for local homes.
- Split Rock Resort & Golf Club – Collect all used shampoo and conditioner bottles and soaps, send them to a program called Clean the World, and they then recycle them and give them to children in need.
- Mountain View Vineyard Winery & Brewery – Dry farming techniques cut back on water waste, mulching around vines promotes beneficial insects, and geothermal and solar energy naturally control conditions in the winemaking facility.
- Barley Creek Brewing Company – Maintains a three-star certified green status from the Green Restaurant Association. Spent grain from the brewery and distillery gets recycled to a farmer, LED efficient lights and other equipment are installed throughout the property, environmentally-friendly to-go containers are used, and spent grain millings are even used to make handcrafted dog biscuits!
Tesla Charging Stations - Several Pocono Mountains destinations offer electric car charging through Tesla Motors’ Destination Charging Program: The French Manor Inn and Spa • The Settlers Inn at Bingham Park • Ledges Hotel • Cocoon Coffee House • Times House B&B • The Crossings Premium Outlets
Delaware Highlands Conservancy and our Green Lodging Partners - With every reservation, guests at participating hotels contribute directly to the Delaware Highlands Conservancy and the protection of clean waters, healthy lands and abundant outdoor recreation opportunities in the Upper Delaware River region. Green Lodging Partners in the Pocono Mountains include: The Lodge at Woodloch • Harrington House B&B • Hotel Fauchere • James Manning House B&B • Ledges Hotel • Roebling Inn on the Delaware • Santosha on the Ridge • The Settlers Inn • Woodloch Resort
For more information on how properties in the Poconos are keeping it green, visit the PMVB’s blog, Spotlight on Sustainability.