If it’s in the streets, it’s in our streams.
The City of Roanoke’s Stormwater Utility, Clean Valley Council, Downtown Roanoke Inc., the Roanoke Arts Commission, Keep Virginia Beautiful, and the Solid Waste Management Division are pleased to announce the winners of the Clean Streets Jingle Competition.
Five winning jingles were revealed today at noon at this year’s virtual Earth Day celebration. The winners were:
“Get Your Butt up off of the Ground” by Arthur Davies
“Yippee” by The Farmer Family Band
“Don’t be an A** with your Butt” by Gwen Mason
“Garbage in the Water” by Caroline Moledor
“Don’t be a Klutz” by Sherrene Roxanne Wells
A stakeholder and artist panel judged 15 entries for artistic merit, originality, catchiness, message clarity, creative rhyming, and spirit. “The team was really pleased with the responses,” said Roanoke City Stormwater Water Quality Administrator Leigh Anne Weitzenfeld. “The message was there, and the submissions were very creative.”
Each winner will receive a $100 Downtown Roanoke gift card and have the opportunity for their jingle to be played in public spaces of Center in the Square and the City Market Building.
All other contestants will receive a $25 gift card as well as gifts from sponsoring organizations. “We wanted to reward each participant,” said Downtown Roanoke, Inc. President and CEO Tina Workman. “Each jingle delivers a message that we care about, and they each do it in a unique style.”
“I’m still laughing at some of the jingles,” said Clean Valley Council Executive Director Courtney Plaster. “And, yes, they do what a good jingle should do: they get stuck in your head and in this case, bring about positive change.”
Two additional jingles were given an honorable mention:
“Butts Stink” by Laurel Original
“Our Hometown” by Jay Burnett
Hear all the jingles and learn about their creators at this link.
Cigarette butts are one of the most commonly littered items in the United States. At stormdrains, roughly 32% of litter consists of tobacco products. One of the common misconceptions is that cigarette butts are biodegradable, however they are made of a type of plastic that can persist in the environment. In addition to the plastic itself, cigarette butts contain chemicals that leach into the environment and affect aquatic and plant life.
“It doesn’t matter what the community goal is, the arts can help us achieve it,” says Roanoke Arts Commission Member Pat Wilhelms. “I’m sure of that, and this is a great example. We really are a creative community—and one that cares.”
The goals of the campaign are to reduce cigarette litter downtown by making disposal more accessible, and to create an awareness by educating citizens on how their actions directly connect to local waterways.
Other components of the campaign this spring and summer include:
- New cigarette butt receptacles and outreach placed downtown with help from the Clean Valley Council – April 2021,
- A focus on encouraging and implementing recycling cigarette butt waste, and
- Partnerships with business owners and downtown residents to implement creative ways to reduce cigarette butt litter with help from Downtown Roanoke Inc.
For more information, please contact Leigh Anne Weitzenfeld in the City’s Stormwater Utility at 540-853-5910 or send an email to [email protected].
About the Stormwater Utility
The Stormwater Utility was created to address water quality in the City of Roanoke. The City is mandated by federal and state agencies to control and eliminate stormwater pollution. Like many rivers across the country, the health of the Roanoke River is impaired from pollution. Pollutants wash into the stormdrain system and flow untreated into the nearest creek, ultimately reaching the Roanoke River. It is the City’s goal to work together with citizens to improve Roanoke's waterways so that they can be community assets for many years to come.
About the Clean Valley Council
For 40 years CVC has brought together some of the area’s brightest minds to address environmental challenges and build support for addressing them. They work to foster collaboration among municipal agencies on issues ranging from stormwater pollution, renewable energy, and recycling challenges to protect shared natural resources.
About the Roanoke Arts Commission
The Roanoke Arts Commission increases the collective impact of arts and culture in the community by advocating for arts and cultural initiatives and investment, developing and Implementing the City’s Public Art Plan, advancing the City’s Arts and Cultural Plan, and guiding City investments in arts and culture.
About Downtown Roanoke Inc.
Downtown Roanoke, Inc. (DRI)’s mission is to make Downtown Roanoke the preferred place to work, live and play. They work with partners to develop strategies, shape public policy and implement programs that strengthen the economic vitality of downtown. DRI is working to preserve the character of the past while pursuing an innovative future with the goal to continue to grow downtown Roanoke as the urban center of Western Virginia.
About Keep Virginia Beautiful
The mission at Keep Virginia Beautiful is to engage and unite Virginians to improve our natural and scenic environment. They empower groups and individuals to engage in environmental projects through grants, contests, events and training so that the collective effort keeps Virginia beautiful for generations to come.
About the Solid Waste Management Division
The Solid Waste Management Division is constantly adapting to new refuse management needs. Solid Waste’s continued reduction of litter relies on creating effective partnerships to ensure the City of Roanoke is a great place to live, work, and play.