On March 3 2015, Keep Texas Beautiful (KTB) announced the winners of the 2015 Governor's Community Achievement Awards, one of the most prestigious annual environmental awards in Texas. The communities of Aubrey, Argyle, Whitehouse, Lockhart, Dickinson, Friendswood, Harlingen, Temple, Lewisville and Houston were selected by a panel of judges to share $2 million from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), to be used for landscaping projects along local rights-of-way within their communities.
The awards recognize the best grassroots environmental programs in the state, and are awarded in 10 different categories, based on population. Every community in Texas is eligible to apply for a Governor's Community Achievement Award. A community's environmental program is judged on achievements in seven different areas: community leadership and coordination, education, public awareness, litter prevention and cleanup, litter law and illegal dumping enforcement, beautification and community improvement, and solid waste management.
The GCAA program has recognized outstanding communities for more than 46 years, with TxDOT providing landscape funding since 1986. KTB will formally recognize and award these communities during its 48th Annual Conference in Fort Worth, on June 15-17, 2015.
Keep Texas Beautiful, a statewide grassroots environmental and community improvement nonprofit, strives to educate and engage Texans to take responsibility for improving their community environment. KTB and its more than 370 affiliates work with government, businesses, civic groups and volunteers to ensure that every Texan has the opportunity to make Texas the cleanest, most beautiful state in the nation.
For more information on programs and events, call 1-800-CLEAN-TX or visit www.ktb.org. Keep Texas Beautiful and TxDOT first began working together in the late 1960s, sharing the common goals of making Texas roadways more attractive and safe for motorists and encouraging tourism, goals which have remained for more than 40 years. Since 1985, KTB has partnered with the TxDOT to support TxDOT's anti-litter and beautification programs such as Don't mess with Texas Trash-Off and the Governor's Community Achievement Awards.
Myth: Cartons have a "wax" coating.
Reality: Food and beverage cartons do not contain any wax. Cartons are made mainly from paper in the form of paperboard. What you think of as "wax" on a carton is actually a thin layer of polyethylene (plastic). Recycling program guidelines that say "wax" or waxy coated cartons are incorrect. Instead use this language - "food and beverage cartons such as milk, juice, soup, creamer, and broth."
Myth: Cartons should be flattened and if it has a cap, the cap needs to be removed.
Reality: Cartons should be placed in the recycling container in their original form - not flattened and the caps can be left on. This is the best to ensure they are recycled to obtain their truest value.
Myth: A carton is not recyclable if a recycling logo is not on the packaging.
Reality: Whether or not you see an actual recycling symbol on a carton you buy, they ARE recyclable. The aseptic and gable top cartons found in grocery stores today are all recyclable. However, not all Americans can recycle them in their communities just yet. The Carton Council is working hard to change that, and today more than half of American households CAN recycle cartons they consume.
Myth: The material that comes from cartons when they are recycled is not valuable. They aren't really turned into anything else.
Reality: Cartons are a valuable source of material, representing some of the cleanest and best long fiber currently in the residential recycling stream. Paper mills use this fiber to make paper products such as tissue, paper towel, etc. In addition, some companies use the material from cartons to produce sustainable building materials such as wall board and ceiling tiles.
Myth: You can't recycle cartons in most U.S. communities.
Reality: In recent years, food and beverage carton recycling has been added to thousands of residential recycling programs, and today, more than half of America households can recycle cartons. This includes communities in 48 states and 77 of the top 100 U.S. cities. And that number is growing every day, thanks to strong collaboration between the Carton Council, local governments, and recycling facilities. Here in Texas, 47% of the households across the state can recycle cartons.
AUSTIN (May 8, 2014) - Paying for college just got a little easier for Sonia Campos (Dr. Ralph H. Poteet High School, Mesquite), Caroline Carr (Trinity High School, Euless) and Krystal Johnson (Lamar High School, Arlington). The three students were recognized for their work promoting a litter-free community and each recieved a scholarship from Keep Texas Beautiful the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Don't mess with Texas Scholarship.
Campos, Carr and Johnson were three of the more than 700 Texas high school seniors who applied for this year's Don't mess with Texas scholarships. Applications were judged based on student essays detailing creative solutions to litter problems.
"Winners of the Don't Mess with Texas scholarship exemplify not only hard work in the classroom but a commitment to litter prevention in their communities," said Margo Richards, Travel Information Division Director at TxDOT.
The three scholarship recipients were recognized for the following:
- Campos ensures youth in her community stay engaged in the fight against littering as an intern for Keep Mesquite Beautiful and president of the organization's Youth Environmental Leaders.
- Carr worked with the city of Bedford's public works department to design and install 10 interactive signs at community parks with creeks, asking people to help keep the creeks clean.
- Johnson directed, filmed and produced a public service announcement concerning the littering problem at her high school and in her city and worked with her church's youth group to conduct monthly "Trashenger Hunts" to collect trash in Arlington's public spaces.
"Texans ages 16 to 34 are those who are most likely to litter, so it's important that we reach them while they are young to teach them how to prevent litter in their schools and hometowns," said Cathie Gail, Executive Director, Keep Texas Beautiful. "Caroline, Sonia and Krystal are leading the charge in their communities to keep our state litter-free and beautiful, so we wanted to recognize their efforts with these scholarships."