Over 185,000 Participants Counted as Big Cleanup Ends in Latvia

RĪGA, Apr 21, BNS - Altogether, 185,621 people turned out for the annual Big Cleanup in Latvia this Saturday, the project's spokeswoman Dace Jaunupe-Bargā told BNS.

With information from regional coordinators still coming in, the data is constantly updated, and the final figure might be announced only on Monday, organizers said.
The organizers hope that last year's record of 190,000 participants will be beaten this year. According to their estimates, up to 230,000 people might have taken part in the Big Cleanup this year.

"We hope for 230,000," said Jaunupe-Bargā.
Many participants are enjoying the fine weather and not rushing to provide the organizers with information on the total number of people taking part in the cleanup and the amount of trash collected.

The organizers, however, have been told that in some locations participants have run out of the official yellow trash bags and have had to provide their own bags in order to remove the collected waste.

A record-high number of sites had been registered for this year's the Big Cleanup in Latvia. The number of sites to be cleaned up during the campaign this weekend grew by 153 from last year to 1,490 this year, the campaign's spokeswoman told BNS.

The idea of the Big Cleanup is based on the principle of voluntarism. Latvian writer and diplomat Anna Zigure borrowed the idea from Estonia, which held the first nationwide cleanup campaign on May 3, 2008.

The goal of the project is to make Latvia the cleanest and tidiest country in the world by 2018 when the Republic of Latvia will be marking its centenary.

Baltic News Service