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Litter's never-ending life cycle
Keep Liberty Beautiful
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One of the most frustrating parts of litter cleanups is knowing that in a few days the area that you worked so hard to clean up may be "decorated" with new litter.
It is frustrating but is also a reminder that the Litter Wars can only be won by attacking litter from three continuous fronts: frequent and visible cleanups, a strong education and awareness effort, and enforcement of local litter laws.
We can make a difference but it won't be an instant win. We are now "growing" a generation of youngsters who will not litter and who recycle.  Our hope is that in the process that their less enlightened parents and other adult role models will join the ride with this "greener" generation as they take care of their world.
This week, Midway will have a cleanup on Wednesday from 9 a.m.-noon. We also have a cleanup scheduled in Walthourville on Saturday, May 31, from 8 a.m.-noon. We will provide lunch after each cleanup for all volunteers.
We need your help. Please join us and make a difference. Midway and Walthourville are both on busy highways with a tremendous amount of traffic. Unfortunately, some of those drivers leave a trail of litter.
Cleanups have a two-fold purpose. One is to get the litter off the ground.  The other is to take a stand against litter. As people drive by and see you -- local citizen or neighbor -- picking up the litter they tossed, it can have a significant impact on them. Community service workers picking up along roads will never make that same statement you can make.
Litter has a life of its own. Some types have an extremely long life, too, which makes them a particular hazard for our soil and water quality as well as the creatures -- including us -- who live in our world.
Take a look at the lifespan of the most common types of litter we find:
• Glass bottles can take up to 1,000,000 years to decompose. This is one of the reasons you should recycle and reuse glass items.
• Plastic soda and water bottles can take up to 650 years. These are also items that can easily be recycled.
• Aluminum take between 80 and 200 years to decompose. Tin cans take around 50 years. Once again, these items can be recycled easily.  We also save natural resources by recycling.
• Foam plastic cups, plates and other items take 50-80 years to decompose, if ever.  These items, like so much litter, can be mistaken for food by animals, making them sick and even killing them.
• Plastic bags can take 10-20 years to decompose. These bags don't have to be trashed. They can be reused or taken to back to stores to recycle. They have containers for them in their customer service areas.  You can also use reusable bags instead of them.
• Cigarette butts, my least favorite litter, that can take from one-five years to decompose. However, some types of cigarette filters can take over 20 years. Think about that the next time you start to flick that butt on the ground. Butts are also the most prevalent form of litter that we encounter.

Upcoming KLCB events:
Through May: Clean Community Challenge.  Challenge others to join you and your group in making our community as clean as possible. Call 368-4888 or email for information.
Through May: Return the Warmth Plastics Recycling Contest. Support students by recycling your plastic bottles. Keep those plastics (PET #1 and #2) coming! We can collect plastics for this project at our recycling drop off centers.
May 21: Midway Cleanup 9 a.m.-noon. Meet at the city hall. Supplies and lunch will be provided. Call KLCB at 368-4888 or 884-3344.
May 31: Walthourville Cleanup 8 a.m.-noon. A cleanup around the Highway 119 and Tibet Road crossroads is in the works. To participate, call 368-4888 or the city hall at 368-7501.
Fall: Liberty County, Home of the World's Largest Crayon. To help, call 368-4888, email or ask any KLCB Council member. We need used crayons for recycling.

For more information on KLCB, call Swida at 368-4888 or email
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