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News Releases from Region 04

EPA, the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability in Atlanta, Atlanta Workforce Development Agency and Local Partners Announce the Proctor Creek Trash Free Waters Community Workforce Program

Contact Information: 
Dawn Harris Young (harris-young.dawn@epa.gov)
(404) 562-8421 (Direct) , (404) 562-8400 (Main)

ATLANTA – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in collaboration with the city of Atlanta, Georgia Stand-UP and local partners announced today the launch of the Proctor Creek Trash Free Waters Community Workforce Program.  The objective of the program is to reduce and eliminate the dumping of tires and trash that contribute to water pollution and bacteria causing poor water quality in the Proctor Creek Watershed and hire workers from the local community. 

“EPA's Trash-Free Waters program is a wonderful tool to help the Proctor Creek community reduce trash in their waterways,” said EPA Regional Water Division Director Jim Giattina.  “EPA is proud to be able to assist local efforts to transform degraded, forgotten waterways into community centerpieces that revitalize the surrounding neighborhoods.”

“We are proud to work with partners today to launch this program,” said Stephanie Stuckey Benfield, the Director of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. “The purpose of the program is based on a simple idea: hire workers from the local community to help clean up Proctor Creek.  This program will serve as a demonstration that can be duplicated in other waterways. Communities in the city core can become leaders in urban sustainability through intensive environmental education, revitalization, and job creation.”

This local effort is a part of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Trash Free Waters program and is a collaboration between: Community Improvement Association Proctor Creek Stewardship Council,  Georgia Stand-UP, Trade-UP/Build-Up Program, Atlanta Workforce Development Agency, EPA’s Trash Free Waters Program, Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, Keep Atlanta Beautiful Commission.  This program effort is led by Community Improvement Association, Inc., a grassroots, nonprofit environmental education organization to make the Proctor Creek Trash Free Waters Community Workforce Program a community-driven job creation and environmental cleanup program for the long-term redevelopment of the Vine City and English Avenue communities. The Atlanta Workforce Development Agency plans to hire twenty participants from the local community for a twelve week pilot run with the opportunity to continue the program. 

"There is a real need for economic and environmental clean-up in the Proctor Creek Watershed. The Build-Up Green program is an ideal collaborative program that solves both needs and creates a win-win for all!" said Trade-Up/Build-Up Founder Deborah Scott.

Marine debris is often the result of poorly managed waste. The amount of waste from U.S. consumers continues to rise, more than doubling between 1960 and 2013. When consumer goods, often single-use disposables, are littered or improperly managed, this trash can find its way into rivers, streams and other waterways. These ultimately empty into our oceans, where the trash becomes marine debris.

The focus of EPA's Trash-Free Waters program is to develop actions and projects that significantly reduce or eliminate the land-based types of products and packaging (primarily single-use disposables) that end up in our aquatic eco-systems and watersheds. Through source reduction, we can greatly reduce the amount of trash getting into waterways, and marine debris.

More information on Trash-Free Waters: https://www.epa.gov/trash-free-waters

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