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With autumn on the horizon, it’s litter cleanup season in Northwest Arkansas.

The fourth annual Pick Up Where You Play, a two-month-long regional volunteer litter cleanup event,  kicks off Saturday, Sept. 9 in Devil’s Den State Park and continues through early November with cleanups throughout Benton and Washington counties.

Other locations include Osage Creek in Rogers on Sept. 30, Beaver Lake on Oct. 7, and Fayetteville’s biggest lakes throughout the fall. Find nearby cleanups and other details at

The University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, Boston Mountain Solid Waste District, several cities and local organizations team up every year to keep Northwest Arkansas’ parks, trails and waterways clean.

Litter harms wildlife and water quality and ultimately impacts the region’s drinking water sources, but every NWA resident can help prevent pollution and conserve natural resources. Almost 700 volunteers participated in 21 cleanup events in 2022.

“No matter your age or background, you can help protect your water and your neighbors,” said Jane Maginot, stormwater educator with the cooperative extension. “It’s wonderful to see so many organizations and volunteers work together in ways that benefit all of us.”

Pick Up Where You Play participants will receive gloves, bags and giveaways, plus they can enter for a drawing for a canoe trip and two-night cabin stay for four donated by Gracie’s Canoe Camp in Pineville, Missouri.

For those who can’t make it to a scheduled cleanup event, or who want to pick up trash in their own favorite park or stream, supplies and other assistance are available through Keep Arkansas Beautiful. Go to Keep Arkansas Beautiful’s online form to request equipment, tally up collections and publicize your own event.

Did you know some litter can be recycled?

It just needs to be the right thing, empty and clean.

The recyclables you’ll find most often will be aluminum cans and plastic bottles – think water and soda bottles or jugs marked #1 or #2. Other plastics should be put in the garbage. Less common but still recyclable are steel cans and unbroken glass bottles.

Paper, cardboard and some other recyclable materials are easily ruined outdoors, so don’t worry about recycling them in this context.