I am so happy that Keep Liberty Beautiful gets the chance to work with some wonderful community partners within Liberty County like the Liberty County Board of Commissioners, Liberty County Road & Solid Waste Department, Liberty County Convention & Visitors Bureau, and the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce on cigarette litter prevention. We also get to work with other good people and organizations like Lea King-Badyna, the Director for Keep Golden Isles Beautiful and Carliss Bates, the Director for Keep Savannah Beautiful. We just finished a campaign coordinated by Lea King-Badyna, and a joint task force with six other coastal counties that came together to battle against the nation’s number one most littered item: cigarette butts!
The campaign, Georgia’s Coast is Not an Ashtray, was a coastwide initiative that focused on cigarette litter near bodies of water: the ocean, streams, rivers, lakes, and ponds. The initiative ran for three months, so here in Liberty County we have added to that campaign with a program called Liberty County Proud and Beautiful. Let me tell you why KLB created this program, cigarette butts are made of cellulose acetate, a type of plastic; cigarette butts do not easily biodegrade. Discarded butts have a negative impact as land litter, which is bad enough, because wildlife can also mistake them for food and eat them. Cigarette butts are blown into storm drains or tossed directly into water sources; this toxic litter becomes marine debris, leaking chemicals into our waterways. With coastal Georgia’s proximity to the Atlantic Ocean as well as the abundance of streams, rivers, lakes, creeks, salt and freshwater marshes, and ponds, cigarette litter can have a devastating effect on all bodies of water.
Our goal at Keep Liberty Beautiful is to promote awareness and achieve a reduction of cigarette litter in Liberty County and Fort Stewart with the Liberty County Proud and Beautiful program. “Because cigarette butts are so small, some people do not think they are littering. We are working with businesses throughout Liberty County to place a Free cigarette butt receptacle in their area. We than ask the owners to collect and dispose of the cigarette waste properly, or ship them off to be recycle,” said Karen Bell, Keep Liberty Beautiful Executive Director.
With the Liberty County Proud and Beautiful cigarette litter prevention program, we are able to
• Offer two types of Free cigarette waste receptacles: Stand Alone and Wall or Pole Mounted
• Place cigarette waste receptacle educational signage and signage in key locations and distribute pocket and car cigarette butt containers.
• Provide outreach awareness about cigarette litter prevention through radio public service announcements; local and social media promotions, including one minute educational videos, and unique drink coaster outreach in local restaurant and bar establishments.
We invite all businesses in Liberty County to request a cigarette waste receptacle if they need one, while supplies last. We are also looking for CLPS = Cigarette Litter Prevention Squad volunteers. This group of volunteers would visit business and help empty the cigarette waste receptacles and ship the cigarettes off for recycling. If you would like to be involved, contact us at Keep Liberty Beautiful at email email@example.com or call (912) 880-4888. You can also go to our website keeplibertybeautiful.org for more information.
There are still spaces available for our upcoming Beach Sweep on Sept. 28, 2019, at St Catherines Island.
You can sign up for this event and Rivers Alive at www.signupgenius.com, search for firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bell is executive director of Keep Liberty Beautiful.