By Ashley Cox

TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10)– The City of Tampa is launching a new anti-litter campaign, Keep It Clean, Tampa. This new campaign is to motivate the community to join the fight against trash and litter.

On Saturday, July 9, Mayor Jane Castor, City Leaders, and the community officially unveiled its first milestone christening Tampa’s new trash boat. The trash boat “Litter Skimmer” was named by the City of Tampa’s Solid Waste Department, this vessel will operate eight hours a day, four days per week picking up floating trash along the Hillsborough River, Davis Islands, and the Bay.

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Additionally, The City of Tampa, Keep Tampa Bay Beautiful, and neighborhood leaders are mobilizing volunteers on Saturday between 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. for a citywide litter removal day. Teams will specifically concentrate on four areas: Cheney Park, Borrell Park, Gadsden Park, and Grant Park.

Sign up to volunteer for a clean-up at tampa.gov/keepitclean 

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Mayor Castor said we can and should do more, and that every Tampa resident and visitor should be invested in this.

“This is a multi-faceted and ongoing community initiative that should become part of the mindset of every Tampa resident:  To be part of the solution, and not part of the pollution,” Mayor Jane Castor said. “Nothing bugs me more than litter, and Tampa is too great a city to be trashed.”

Tampa already dedicates significant resources to help keeping our community clean. Last year, the City of Tampa’s Code Enforcement teams cleaned more than 3,200 tons of debris. Additionally, the Tampa Downtown Partnership’s Clean Team collected 281 tons of litter, pressure washed 130 blocks, and removed 259 graffiti examples in 2021.

The next step in the Keep It Clean, Tampa campaign will be utilizing a $500,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to study trash “hot spots” across the City of Tampa so we can reduce debris entering the Hillsborough River and other waterways.

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“Litter and trash not only threaten our wildlife and ecosystems, but they affect public safety, mental health and everybody’s quality of life,” said Whit Remer, the City of Tampa’s Sustainability & Resiliency Officer. “Tampa deserves better, and we are going to do what we can to correct those problems.”