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Liberty Clean and Beautiful
That really drives me crazy
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The hosts on ABC’s morning show, Good Morning America, kicked off a new ongoing segment Jan. 15 called “That Really Drives Me Crazy!”
Robin Roberts, Diane Sawyer’s sidekick, chose the first topic — one she says “has been driving her crazy for years.”
Robin chose litter because she says there is absolutely no reason for people to be so lazy. I don’t usually see these morning talk shows because I am working. The folks at the corporate office of Keep America Beautiful notified KAB affiliates on Friday to let us know the segment would be airing on Monday.
Robin chose an excellent topic for this type of segment because  she is not the only one “driven crazy” by litter. I know many of us in Liberty County feel the same way. As the GMA hosts discussed on the show, it is hard for many of us to understand why people litter and why the rest of us should have to put up with it.
Robin said the type of litter she hates most is cigarette butts! Often people who smoke don’t even consider flicking those cigarette butts on the ground as littering. How wrong they are! Cigarette butts are quite frankly one of the most prevalent forms of litter. They also are one of the most time consuming and frustrating forms of litter to gather up. Those of you who have helped on roadside cleanups know what I mean. These butts are unsanitary and can be mistaken by animals — and marine life when they reach our waterways — as food. Eating these cigarette butts can make them sick and can even kill them.  Cigarette butts may be small but they take quite a while to decompose from two years to 24 years for some brands. So you can understand why people need to quit throwing them on the ground.
On GMA, they interviewed some public works employees who clean up Times Square daily. They pick up 99 pounds of cigarette butts every day!
It is hard to imagine that many people could be so careless. GMA showed a pocket ashtray smokers can carry with them to dispose of butts when there is not a canister around. We have few of them at my office available if you or someone in your family would like to use one. I hope to have more in the near future. But just like so many solutions for resolving litter problems, they are not cheap. The best and cheapest way to fight litter is to NOT LITTER!
One of the other litter problems highlighted on the show was illegal dumping.  Using surveillance tapes of litterers dumping items on the side of country roads in South Carolina, the hosts noted so many of the items being dumped could have been disposed of properly in local drop-off centers. Yes, if you are wondering, those litterers on the tapes were prosecuted. We are hoping to have surveillance equipment available in our county soon to handle our illegal dumping problems locally. In Georgia illegal dumping of more than 500 pounds is considered a misdemeanor for the first offense. A second conviction is a felony, punishable by a fine of up to $25,000 or a prison sentence of up to two years — or both.
If you missed the segment and would like to see it, I taped it on my TIVO. I hope  we will be able to add it for viewing to our local web site for Keep Liberty County Beautiful soon. Great job, Good Morning America!  Litter is a perfect topic for “That Really Drives Me Crazy!”

Upcoming events with KLCB
• Feb. 1, Regional litter enforcement workshop, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. NeSmith-Lane Continuing Education Center, GSU, Statesboro $15 registration (includes lunch) For information, call Sara at 368-4888.
• Feb. 16  is Georgia Arbor Day
• March 1-May 31, Great American Cleanup in Liberty County, Keep America Beautiful’s national cleanup event. Volunteers are needed throughout the county to help organize and implement roadside cleanups and community beautification projects.
If you, your family, your neighborhood, your organization or your business would be able to sponsor or participate, contact Sara at 368-4888. We need your help to clean up Liberty County!
For more information on Keep Liberty County Beautiful programs, contact Sara Ann Swida at 368-4888 or
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