World Cleanup Day: Total figures not yet final as some cleanups postponed

The first ever World Cleanup Day, whose roots lie in the Estonian civic movement Let's Do It!, was held on Saturday, 15 September, with an estimated 13 million people across some 150 countries worldwide pitching in to clean up their local areas. Cleanups were postponed in some parts of the world due to inclement weather and other concerns, however, which means that various WCD figures are not yet final.

According to a press release by World Cleanup Day Headquarters, reports on volunteer numbers around the world indicate an estimated total of 13 million participants, with the highest number of volunteers engaged in Indonesia, Pakistan and the US at 3.3, 3 and 1.5 million, respectively. Kyrgyzstan, meanwhile, saw the highest participation rate at 7% of the national population.

Among other government officials, civic leaders and celebrities, the Presidents of Estonia, Kyrgyzstan and Georgia all participated personally in cleanups; President Kersti Kaljulaid took part in a cleanup in Ukraine.

In 40 hours, cleanups were held from Fiji to American Samoa, typically beginning at 10:00 local time. It is yet too early to discuss exact figures regarding total amounts of trash collected, but in organising the event the WCD team took care to ensure that none of the cleaned up waste would remain uncollected.

"We collected the trash, but each country is responsible for what will become of it on its own territory, according to its respective waste management options and culture," explained WCD leader Eva Truuverk. "It was the responsibility of each country captain to work out a system for this, and we recommended following the example set by Estonia according to which landowners would be responsible for waste removal and management."

According to Estonian team captain Raimo Matvere, Estonians were very active participants in WCD, collecting an average of 500 litres of trash per person.

World Cleanup Day 2018 livecoverage with ERR

"I really appreciate these people's contributions," he said. "It happened multiple times that we received a call from a cleanup after two hours and were told that they had done everything there, give them another [assignment]."

Events postponed, cancelled due to weather, politics

Cleanups were postponed in parts of Asia due to TyphoonMangkhut, parts of the US due to Hurricane Florence and parts of the Caribbean by Tropical Storm Isaac. WCD events in several countries were also affected by extreme heat, although cleanups in Bahrain proceeded despite temperatures reaching as high as 46C, and many volunteer groups in Iraq began cleaning as early as 6:00 local time to get ahead of the midday heat.

In Zimbabwe, cleanups were affected by a cholera outbreak centered in Harare, and cleanup efforts were postponed or cancelled in Sudan and Yemen for political reasons.

As a result, it will take some time before any final worldwide numbers can be tallied.

WCD world headquarters staffed by 300 in Tallinn

The world headquarters of the WCD event was located at Tallinnn University, where more than 300 WCD staff members, many of them volunteers, worked for over 24 hours to field calls and emails and answer questions, respond to media queries, write press releases and keep in contact with local cleanup leaders around the world, among other tasks.

The 24-hour live online broadcast was also run on site, with many staff members from ERR and ETV contributing to the effort, including all three members of the ERR News team.

err.ee
WORLD_CLEANUP_DAY
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
1 view in february
I recommend
No recommendations yet

Comments

Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

Politics
Chairman of the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and one of the owners of construction group Nordecon, Toomas Luman, finds that a prime ministerial candidate should first and foremost be able to answer the question of what will become of the demographic crisis in Estonia. The businessman sees controlled introduction of foreign labor as the solution. A digital construction cluster was created in Estonia a few years back to bring innovation to the s...
Society
Last year saw 27,125 registered offenses, up 0.5 percent from the year before. Violent crime was up by 12 percent to 8,249 offenses. PHOTO: Dominic Lipinski / PA Wire / Press Association Images / Scanpix Growth was biggest for domestic violence – the police launched criminal proceedings in 3,607 cases that constitutes an increase of more than one-third – annual growth of 37 percent from 2,632 cases in 2017. At the same time, reports of domestic violence we...
Society
TALLINN - Ahead of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, tens of thousands of British citizens have chosen the citizenship of some other country, but only one Brit has recently chosen an Estonian citizenship. Spokespeople for the Ministry of the Interior told BNS that only one British citizen submitted an application for Estonian citizenship last year and the applicant was also granted the citizenship. Before that, no Brits had soug...
Society
TALLINN - Experts from Finland, Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands highlighted the importance of decentralization and granting local governments greater decision-making powers at a conference titled "Strong local government -- strong state?" in Tallinn on Wednesday.  All Nordic countries have chosen a model granting local governments significant decision-making powers, thus the central government does not prescribe how local governments are to fulfill the...
Society
The language learning application Drops by game developer Planb Labs, established in Estonia by Hungarian founders, was named Google Play's best app of 2018. With the number of downloads surpassing 10 million, Drops was named Google's app of the year as the revenue of Planb Labs, a company registered in Estonia, increased fivefold, CNBC said. The developer's revenue grew from €335,000 in 2017 to €1.7 million in 2018. The company's shareholders include Hung...
Society
TALLINN - The Estonian Health Board has banned the distribution of chlorine dioxide, also marketed as the Miracle Mineral Supplement (MMS), the A-component of an unused product, meaning the sodium chlorite solution, must be taken to a hazardous waste collection facility. Ester Opik, head of the Health Board's North regional department, said that the banning of the distribution of the product was caused by the fact that MMS, distributed as a cosmetics produ...
Society
Nature cannot abide a vacancy, as the saying goes. If just one year ago, Estonia was battling the sale of MMS and the practice of giving it to children, a new “miracle cure” called Advanced TRS has appeared on the market now. Even though the make-up of the substance is different, the promise to cure autism and cleanse the body of heavy metals, which kind of extreme detox is accompanied by severe side-effects, sounds all too familiar. TRS is recommended to...
Society
Allied NATO battalions will soon mark two years serving in the Baltics. They have worked better than expected but would need prepositioned heavy weaponry and a functional contingency plan in case of a crisis, a report by the International Center for Defense and Security (ICDS) finds. “We do not know how Russia would have acted had we not welcomed allies in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland in 2017. I’m afraid they would have tested our resolve,” one of...
Society
The time of filing income tax returns is nearly upon us. The new income tax system, in effect since last year, will obligate many women who went on maternity leave toward the end of the year to make additional income tax payments, while those who give birth in the middle or at the beginning of the year have no such obligation. What this means is that some women will owe the state simply for giving birth “at the wrong time”. Laura Roop, who went on maternit...