April 29, 2004
Some of the students and faculty at the Gettysburg Campus of Harrisburg Area Community College got an early start celebrating Earth Day and collected trash from the campus grounds. The cleanup -- held on a recent Saturday -- was also part of HACC's participation in the 16th annual Potomac Watershed Cleanup.

The volunteers filled 30 garbage bags with plastic grocery bags, food containers and wrappers, and small pieces of styrofoam. Most of these items are deposited by wind and water runoff during the year.

Workers tossed the trash -- which also included a chair seat, a power drill, and a jack-o-lantern - into a large disposal container provided by IESI Waste Disposal Company, Scotland, PA. HACC's Environmental Club provided pizza and sodas for cleanup participants.

The campus cleanup was coordinated by Environmental Biology instructor Sharon Sontheimer under the auspices of the Alice Ferguson Foundation, Inc., sponsor of Environmental Education on the Potomac.

This year's clean up effort netted 160 tons of trash from at least 151 sites in the Potomac River watershed.

"Here at HACC, our efforts contribute in a small way to promote a greater sense of stewardship for the environment," said Sontheimer.

The Ferguson Foundation, which provided trash bags and gloves for trash collectors, is involved in a ten-year campaign, "Trash Free in 2013." Their slogan is "Take Pride in the Potomac: It's time to take out the trash!"

"Our HACC participants took pride in clearing their campus of trash, and we felt this was an appropriate activity to celebrate Earth Day," said Sontheimer.

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