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Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney Invites the Community to "Block Litter"

New collaborative program between Save the Rain and OCRRA promotes ongoing litter reduction in Onondaga County.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – A unique, new joint initiative between Save the Rain and the Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency (OCRRA) encourages local residents and businesses to help “Block Litter” where they live and work through regular neighborhood cleanups. The “Block Litter” program aims to educate community members about the importance of litter-free neighborhoods and cleaning the community one block at a time. “Block Litter” is about small acts that can play a big role in keeping our community clean.
It’s as simple as community members taking a pledge to pick up litter on their street, and volunteering to recruit neighbors and coworkers a few times a year for a larger cleanup. The new program was formally introduced by Onondaga County Executive Joanne Mahoney on Monday, June 19, along the Onondaga Creekwalk in downtown Syracuse.
“Together we can help beautify the entire county by cleaning up the individual neighborhoods where we live and work,” said Mahoney. “It’s up to all of us to make the pledge to ‘block litter’ and keep litter off our streets and out of our waterways.”
In Onondaga County, litter, rain and the stormwater system are all connected. When it rains, litter on the street is washed down storm drains, into the water system and, ultimately, into Onondaga Lake and its tributaries. Ninety-eight percent of trash that makes its way to Onondaga Lake is street-borne litter. With so many outdoor events and festivals happening this summer and throughout the year that draw more people outside, it’s important to encourage litter reduction not only in Syracuse, but across the county.
“Everybody can help make our community more presentable by picking up trash and keeping it out of our waterways, protecting wildlife and showing pride in our community,” said Dereth Glance, OCRRA executive director. “Grab a trash bag and inspire your friends, family, colleagues and neighbors to save the world a little each day, because together we do make a difference.”
Individuals who make the pledge to “Block Litter” and clean their block will receive a free starter kit with more information and resources. People can sign up for a kit at Each kit includes posters, invitations and stickers to help recruit others to participate in the effort. Community members are invited to share photos of how they are helping to block litter in their neighborhoods using the hashtag #BlockLitter to inspire others to make their own impact. Those who use the hashtag will be entered to win great prizes throughout the year.
The “Block Litter” program is a part of Save the Rain’s Connect the Drops campaign to reduce litter in local waterways and OCRRA’s Save the World a Little Each Day™ initiative. Additional community partners include Visit Syracuse, 40 Below, Armory Square Association, the Downtown Committee and various local neighborhood groups.
“Nothing says ‘Welcome to Syracuse’ like clean streets and neighborhoods and we are excited to partner with County Executive Mahoney in support of the Block Litter initiative,” said Carol Eaton, Vice President of Marketing & Interim President of Visit Syracuse. “We can’t wait to welcome visitors to a more vibrant and litter free Downtown Syracuse and Onondaga County.”
“Reducing litter is good for our community, our environment, and our economy,” said Armory Square Association President Jim Wefers. “We support Block Litter and encouraging the community to get involved and take pride in cleaning up our streets.”
“As a steward of the Downtown Business District, we take pride in making downtown attractive, safe, and vibrant,” said Merike Treier, Executive Director of the Downtown Committee of Syracuse. “Clean, litter-free streets are an important priority and the Downtown Committee is proud to support the Block Litter initiative.”
“I am very excited to stand with the County Executive in support of her efforts to clean up our neighborhoods,” said Syracuse City Common Councilor Joseph Carni “By taking as little as 10 minutes a week to pick up litter on your street, we can all make a big difference in the appearance of the Salt City.”
“Keeping our streets and neighborhoods clean is one of the easiest ways to enhance our quality of life in Syracuse,” say Councilor Chad Ryan. “I appreciate the leadership and dedication from the County Executive to make our neighborhoods a welcoming and clean place for everyone.”
To learn more and make the pledge online to “Block Litter,” visit
About Save the Rain: Save the Rain is Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney’s comprehensive stormwater management program that is intended to reduce pollution and improve the water quality of Onondaga Lake and its tributaries using innovative green and gray infrastructure solutions. To date, Onondaga County has advanced more than 190 distinct green infrastructure projects on public and private property and has become a national model for the implementation of a balanced approach to stormwater management.
The latest element of Save the Rain’s community outreach program has been the Connect the Drops campaign, making the connection between litter dropped on the street and rain drops carrying that litter into the sewer system and local waterways. To learn more, visit
About OCRRA: OCRRA is a not-for-profit public benefit corporation created by the New York State Legislature in 1990 to deliver a comprehensive solid waste management and resource recovery system to Onondaga County residents.
OCRRA’s system includes: a strong recycling and composting program, a foundation for local waste disposal at the Waste-to-Energy Facility, two convenient trash and recycling drop off sites, a robust education component and programs for hard to manage materials, such as household hazardous waste, batteries, fluorescent bulbs and other mercury containing devices.
OCRRA’s award-winning programs are funded by trash drop-off fees and the sale of electricity generated at the Waste-to-Energy Facility in Jamesville, NY. Learn more and get involved at, or follow on Facebook.
Media Release
For Immediate Release: 6.15.17
Media Contact: Justin Sayles 315-435-3516

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