Big Sweep is an international debris cleanup program in which citizens and community groups work together to clean up trash in their waterways. The program is international, and most states in the U.S. have their own program, and each county is encouraged to coordinate a cooperative effort for municipalities. ECO coordinates the effort in Henderson County each fall. During Big Sweep’s 23-year history in North Carolina, almost 270,000 Big Sweep volunteers have retrieved more than 9 million pounds of debris. In 2008, NC ranked third in the country for the number of volunteers (18,330) and collected 264 tons of debris (527,778 pounds). The 2011 Big Sweep teams had almost 100 volunteers who cleaned just over 2,500 pounds of debris from 9 miles of streams around Henderson County.
This next Big Sweep (2013) needs more volunteers than ever and you can help make a difference in protecting our most precious resource. According to ECO Executive Director, David Weintraub, “the basis of our way of life in WNC is our watersheds. Protecting them by cleaning, monitoring and nurturing them is critical to maintaining the health of our streams. Big Sweep is the first step to being good stewards of our natural resources.” Diamond Brand is offering coupons for 20% off one regular-priced item for volunteers participating in Big Sweep. First Citizens Bank is supplying bags for clean-up. Harris Teeter and Ingles are supplying water bottles and granola bars for participants.
Contact ECO for more information and current dates and times.