Vt. Green Up Day Faces Funding Shortfall
Montpelier — The head of Green Up Vermont said the state might lose its annual litter cleanup day unless additional funds are secured.
Green Up Day takes place on the first Saturday of May when Vermonters take to the roads picking up litter. It’s organized by Green Up Vermont, a nonprofit organization.
Melinda Vieux, the president of Green Up Vermont, said if the effort doesn’t get more funding to patch a hole in its $120,000 budget caused by declining corporate sponsorship, it might have to shut down.
“We are now at a point where we really are facing the reality that if something positive does not happen, that after Green Up Day 2015, we will face planning an orderly shutdown of Green Up Day,” she said.
Vermont Public Radio reported that Seventh Generation, Ben & Jerry’s, and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters have all ended their annual charitable gifts to Green Up Day, which accounted for about 20 percent of the project’s corporate sponsorships.
About half the budget supports two part-time staff members, including Vieux. Last year, she spent $12,000 in garbage bags and distributed 46,000 of them.
Seventh Generation and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters representatives said the decision was based on new criteria for charitable giving.
To raise funding, Democratic Rep. Janet Ancel, of Calais, has introduced legislation that would include an option for Vermonters to donate to Green Up on their tax forms. Lawmakers last added a donation option on tax forms for the Vermont Veterans Fund, which boosted their revenue by $40,000 annually.
Green Up Vermont, the non-profit group that organizes Vermont's annual Green Up Day, is facing a 20 percent decline in corporate sponsorship that makes up part of its $120,000 budget. The group's budget problems were incorrectly described in an earlier version of this Associated Press story.