On October 24, Liberty County residents of all ages came together to volunteer for the annual Rivers Alive Cleanup. Rivers Alive is a statewide cleanup sponsored by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and Keep Liberty Beautiful organization. The event is held to prevent litter from being washed into the storm drains. Volunteers joyfully picked up trash bags and trash pickers and were ready to help as early as 8:30 a.m. “I like working with the community, always have. I like to help to keep our environment clean”, said Latonya McLaurin, one of the volunteers.
On the same day two more important events were also held: Tire Amnesty Day and Shred Day. Shred day was held at Riceboro City Hall to ensure Liberty County residents that their personal documents would be disposed of securely.
To get rid of tires some people toss them into the woods or worse, a body of water. To prevent that, Keep Liberty Beautiful hosted a Tire Amnesty Day where residents could show up and turn in old tires that need to be disposed of. In return the organization would take the tires and make sure they are recycled. The Executive Director of Keep Liberty Beautiful, Karen Bell, spoke about the need for the tire amnesty. “We just had one lady say ‘my dad had some tires in the back, he’s been gone for twelve years and it’s just been sitting there’. So what happens is those tires start collecting mosquitos, snakes and bugs. And you know a mosquito bite can have an infection or diseases so to keep that down you need to keep tires and trash out of the way. So this is a way so that if people find a collection of tires, wherever they may be, to bring them in and get them out of our land”.
Statewide efforts such as Rivers Alive improve the health of residents in Liberty County. “One reason is because it’s going to help keep us alive. If we don’t take the time to actually clean out our waterways, making sure that no trash gets into our waterways or toxics like cigarette butts, then our water can’t take care of us. We have to take care of it or it won’t take care of us,” said Bell.
Bell urges residents to know that picking up trash shouldn’t be done only once per year, but anytime. “Even though we only do this once a year for Rivers Alive it’s our responsibility to do it throughout the rest of the year. So if you see some paper- or if you happen to smoke don’t just throw it on the ground. Throw it in the trash or the proper disposable for the particular trash that you have,” she said.