As we gear up for our annual spring cleanups for the national Great American Cleanup effort, I have litter on the brain.
I know litter bugs a lot of people besides me. It is ugly and nasty, and it can cause serious health and safety issues, too. It also affects how prospective businesses and other visitors to our community view our county.
I hope you will consider getting involved in our volunteer cleanups because your presence can make a difference. Not only do these cleanups help eliminate the actual trash unwitting people have left on the road, it reminds your neighbors, who might be some of those unwitting people, that others don’t want that litter on the road.
If you would like to be involved, check with your local city hall to volunteer for the municipal cleanup day coming up or contact Keep Liberty Beautiful. Our goal this spring is 1,000 volunteers, so we need your participation.
The dates for the local municipal cleanups are:
• March 9 — GumBranch, Allenhurst, East End
• March 23 — Midway
• April 20 — Hinesville
• April 27 — Walthourville, Flemington
• TBD — Riceboro
While we are preparing for these cleanups, here are some top tips for stopping the litter epidemic:
1. Set an example by not littering. Carry a litter bag in your car and hang on to litter until you find a garbage receptacle.
2. Pick up one piece of litter every day. Particularly pick up litter around storm-drain sewers. Anything going in these goes directly to our waterways.
3. Remind others about the proper ways to dispose of litter.
4. Make sure your trash cans have good-fitting lids so litter cannot fall or blow out. If you transport garbage or recyclable items to area convenience centers for disposal, make sure that your bags and containers are secure in your vehicle. You can make a difference just by using a tarp on your truck. By the way, it also is the law.
5. Ask your neighbors to join you in cleaning up one area in your community where litter accumulates.
6. Encourage groups — like civic clubs, youth groups, sports teams and church groups — that you and your family members support to become involved in cleanup and recycling projects.
7. Look for ways to beautify your neighborhood and community.
8. In your workplace, make sure that there are an adequate number of appropriately placed containers for garbage disposal. Make sure that designated smoking areas have receptacles for cigarette butts, too. I have a limited number of free plastic cigarette-butt ashtrays for smokers who will use them. Call 880-4888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. In your workplace consider setting up recycling containers for recyclable items, like plastic bottles, aluminum cans, paper and cardboard. And make sure that the tops and side doors of business Dumpsters are closed properly so that litter cannot fall or blow out.
9. If you own or work with a construction or hauling business, make sure that trucks are covered when transporting materials from one site to another. Make sure that an adequate number of garbage containers are accessible for workers. Use fencing around construction and demolition sites to prevent debris from being blown into other areas or properties.
10. At community and sports events, look for containers to dispose of snack wrappers and drink containers. Don’t just throw them on the ground. Where did we ever get the idea that that is OK?
We all can make a difference at home, at work and throughout our community. Together, we can stop litter in its tracks!
Upcoming Keep Liberty Beautiful events
Saturday, Feb. 23 — The Heritage Bank’s Community Shred Day from 10 a.m.-noon at the main branch at the corner of Main Street and M.L. King Jr. Drive.