If you’ve been in Lebanon’s downtown recently on a Tuesday, you may have noticed people taking a few minutes to remove litter and trash. This effort to help improve the looks of the downtown area is part of the new Ten on Tuesdays initiative launched by Downtown Lebanon, the community’s Main Street program.

Main Street manager Amy Kopecky said the program was launched in September by the organization’s Clean and Green committee. “September 1 was a Tuesday, so the timing was perfect!” she said.

She explained that Ten on Tuesdays encourages business owners to reverse litter by taking ten minutes to clean up their business storefront or by picking up 10 pieces of trash and recyclable materials on a Tuesday. “We reached out to business owners, but we also encourage everyone–schools, community groups and individuals—to participate. By working together we can make a difference in the downtown area, and beyond. People can even use the concept in their own neighborhoods,” she said.

The Ten on Tuesdays program isn’t unique to Lebanon. Kopecky said Emmily Longenecker, a member of the organization’s design/clean and green committee, first heard about it at a seminar she attended. “It encourages businesses to take pride in the community, and it’s a fun way to get the community involved in the overall effort to improve the look of the downtown. Ten minutes isn’t a huge amount of time, but if everyone does it, it can make a difference. When people come into the downtown area and see a nice, clean area, they know people care about their community,” Kopecky said.

Pam Shirk of Wrinkle & Boon, located in Downtown Lebanon.

Laurie Crawford, Lebanon Valley Conservancy executive director and a member of Downtown Lebanon’s clean and green committee said there’s another benefit of picking up trash and litter. “Trash and litter can clog stormwater grates. That slows down runoff and water and litter can travel down the streets, which can be detrimental to the watershed,” she explained, “By removing trash and litter, the stormwater system functions as it was designed to do, and trash and litter doesn’t end up in the streams.”

Crawford said business owners are the “front line of keeping the downtown clean.” “It sets an example for the community to follow,” she said.

Downtown Lebanon generally hosts downtown area cleanup activities every other month. Kopecky said the organization has hosted a few cleanups this year, and they drew a good number of volunteers. However due to the COVID-19 pandemic and efforts to limit the spread of the virus, they’ve been limited since spring.

For more information about Downtown Lebanon and the Ten on Tuesdays initiative, visit www.downtownlebanon.com.

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