I am kind of a closet “results addict.” Well, actually, those who know me well would say I haven’t hidden this “secret disease” very well. I must admit, however, I don’t get into numbers because I enjoy mathematics. Results just give me feedback. I see strong results as verification that efforts made have paid off, and that is pretty important to me.
If I am not getting solid results, I am going to change the way I’m doing things. As we work on projects at Keep Liberty Beautiful, statistics are always floating through my brain. Why are stats important? I have to know whether we are making a difference because that’s what Keep Liberty Beautiful is all about — creating changes in attitudes and behaviors in three areas: litter prevention, waste reduction and recycling, and community improvement.
Well, congratulations, Liberty County! My most recent results tell me that we are experiencing change. We still have litter, but we do have less litter. Recycling is up. Participation and interest in KLB events are way up. As we finalize our information and statistics for local, state and national reports, let me share some highlights:
Litter education and prevention
Between July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2010, 2,067 volunteers participated in 131 programs and events, including 39 cleanup events accomplished by 811 volunteers during the spring 2010 Great American Cleanup, which cleaned up more than seven tons of litter. That is a lot of litter, but it is down a couple tons from last year, even though cleanups covered more ground.
Additionally, 621 volunteers accomplished other activities in schools and in the community, including litter-education activities, recycling events, tree plantings and the annual Earth Day celebration.
Of those 2,067 volunteers, 342 cleaned 20 sites during the 2009 fall Rivers Alive Cleanups, collecting more than two tons of litter. You guessed it: more cleanup sites and less litter than last year!
KLB’s annual litter scan also yielded impressive results.
Each year, we survey the same 18 locations in the county and the areas are rated using a scale from 1 (very little litter) to 4 (substantial litter). The average score for the past several years has been 2.44 or higher — not great. However, this year’s score in June was 1.94.
Waste reduction and recycling events
During the recent fiscal year, 528 volunteers coordinated 94 events in which 4,435 youth and adults participated. These events included quarterly Recycle It! Fairs and special events such as Soles for Souls, Christmas tree recycling, phonebook recycling and school recycling programs for paper, plastics and aluminum cans.
Beautification and community improvement
In 2009-10, 476 volunteers planted trees and promoted environmental awareness, education and involvement regarding caring for trees and green spaces. Forty-seven projects were accomplished and 158 trees were planted.
Ninety-seven community partners supported Keep Liberty Beautiful events. More than 41,000 people were exposed to our programs through educational activities, displays and events. To sum it up, the 3,071 volunteers, who made all these activities happen, improved Liberty County’s quality of life.
In tough economic times, it’s good to know that, according to Keep America Beautiful’s computations, for every dollar Liberty spends to support KLB, the hard work and success of program volunteers and partners generate an additional $1.40 for our community. We applaud all of you for a job very well done!
Mark your calendar for these upcoming Keep Liberty Beautiful events:
• Tuesday, Sept. 14: Protect our Groundwater Day. Check out www.ngwa.org to find out what you can do.
• Saturday, Sept. 25: The Hinesville Police Department is hosting “Operation Pill Drop” from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., at the department, 123 E. M.L. King Jr. Drive. Residents can dispose of expired, unused or unwanted medications. Call 368-8211 or 408-8242.
• Saturday, Sept. 25: St. Catherines beach sweep.
• Saturday, Oct. 2: Recycle It! Fair for electronics and household items.
• Saturday, Oct. 23: Fifth Annual Rivers Alive Cleanups at 20 locations in our county.
Contact Keep Liberty Beautiful at 880-4888 or firstname.lastname@example.org.