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Iowans Preparing Now for 45th Annual Earth Day

PHOTO: It has become the world's largest civic observance, and thousands of people across Iowa are making plans to take part in the 45th annual Earth Day with events to be held on and around April 22. Photo credit: Metro Waste Authority.
PHOTO: It has become the world's largest civic observance, and thousands of people across Iowa are making plans to take part in the 45th annual Earth Day with events to be held on and around April 22. Photo credit: Metro Waste Authority.
March 11, 2015

DES MOINES, Iowa - With the springlike weather that's now being enjoyed across Iowa, residents are busy making plans and getting ready for next month's 45th annual Earth Day celebration.

For those looking to get involved, said Leslie Irlbeck, program and outreach manager at Metro Waste Authority, a good place to start is to check with local public-works departments or community organizations.

"A lot of times, there are supplies that are available," she said, "because they're more than willing to incorporate anybody that wants to clean up the streets and the streams and anything else that's out there that could use a little extra attention this time of year."

Earth Day is the largest civic observance in the world, with more than 1 billion people participating in related activities each year.

Iowa's largest Earth Day event is the Trash Bash in Des Moines, set for April 24 and expected to have more than 1,000 volunteers taking part. But Irlbeck noted that anyone in any corner of the state can get involved, just by getting educated and making an impact on their own.

"It's a great time to refresh about what's recyclable, what's not recyclable, make sure you're putting everything where it belongs," she said, "and kind of just hitting 'reset' and seeing what other kinds of sustainable practices that you can incorporate in your day-to-day life."

She said Iowans generate more than 3 million tons of waste annually, and the amount that ends up in landfills is enough to fill 100,000 semitrailers stretching end-to-end from Cedar Rapids to New York City.

More information is online at mwatoday.com. Details on Iowa waste are at iastate.edu.

John Michaelson, Public News Service - IA