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'Clean-up kits' ready to go at one local library to help residents keep communities clean

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Posted at 1:47 PM, Mar 28, 2021

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Checking out materials like books and movies from your local library is nothing new, but what about clean-up kits?

You can at the Newport News Library with the “Let’s Can It” clean-up kits.

"They are very popular,” Anita Jennings, the library’s acting director, said.

In the almost two years the library has had the kits, Jennings said they are checked out constantly.

The nine kits were made possible through a collaboration between the library and Darrell Baskin with the Newport News Department of Public Works.

"We had no idea it was going to catch on like wildfire,” Baskin said. “We're happy that it did."

With the Great American Cleanup underway until June and Earth Month in April, anyone can help clean up their community on their own time and at no cost. The kits provide that convenience.

"You should love where you live,” Baskin said. “Because if there's litter then it could bring rodents, it goes into the waterways that feed into the bay."

The kit comes with safety vests, trash bags, rubber gloves, pick-up sticks and a bucket. It also comes with a waiver form that patrons must sign before checking out the kits.

“Each kit comes with items for five people,” Jennings explained. “So generally when people are checking them out, it's with a group."

Baskin said more kits could be acquired for the library.

"We're trying to secure funding for extra kits because it's needed,” Baskin said. “It's growing and we need to keep Mother Earth clean."

The kits are available to anyone with a Newport News Library card, which Jennings said anyone in Virginia can get. The kits are available at three of their locations – Main Street Library, Pearl Bailey Library and Grissom Library.

Baskin suggested that patrons checking out the kits also fill out the city's Adopt-a-Spot Cleanup Report Form. The form asks residents how much litter they picked up and where, among other questions.

The Newport News Public Library and its locations are not open to accommodate patrons inside their locations until April 12 so patrons can check the kits through the libraries’ curbside service.

Baskin added the Suffolk Public Libraries have similar kits. He suggested anyone interested in these kits should reach out to their local library to see if they have something similar.