We in the KALB office often hear words of thanks for all that is accomplished through our organization each year. We really don’t deserve the thanks. It is our volunteers that answer our calls.
We recently called for volunteers to come out and help with our Elk River Cleanup on March 4th. As always, our call was answered and great work was accomplished. Fifty-seven volunteers braved the cold morning, which turned into a beautiful, sunny day, to pick up other people’s trash.
Throughout the year, we have dedicated groups and individuals who participate in the Adopt-A-Spot program by cleaning up a stretch of roadway in the city or county on a routine basis. You don’t always see these volunteers, but they are out there quietly working to make our communities better.
There are also people living in our communities who only think of themselves by asking these questions: Can I save the few dollars it would cost to take my trash to the transfer station by just tossing it down a ravine? Can I pocket the money I charged the homeowner to properly dispose of old roofing shingles if I just dump them under the bridge? It’s just too far to go to take my tires to the Limestone County district tool shed to be properly recycled; so should I just roll them down this hill into the river? Why shouldn’t I leave all these beer bottles in the woods after I’ve partied with my friends? Why would I want to properly dispose of all that tangled fishing line when I can just leave it on the river bank? Why should I trash my car when I can just toss this fast food bag and drink bottle out the window?
If any of the people who ask those questions had someone to answer them, they may or may not have changed their mind about how to proceed.
It is the duty of those of us who do know the answers to these questions to speak up. If you see someone dumping trash, report it. If you see someone litter from their vehicle, report it to us. We work with the Athens Police Department and the Limestone County Sheriff Department to help track down offenders.
The volunteers who came out to help clean up the Elk River removed 7,380 lbs. of trash and debris from the river and surrounding land areas. A portion was loose trash that washed up from the water. Most of it consisted of things like TV sets, tires, mattresses, carpet, bags of trash, dead animals and much more. These items ended up at the river as a result of someone’s laziness, ignorance, or just lack of pride.
On behalf of the KALB Commission, I thank those of you who came out to help with the river cleanup this year, and those who have adopted an area of their community to clean. Athens and Limestone County are filled with good people willing to do the dirty work of cleaning up after others. We thank you.
Be a voice. If you see something, say something. You can report littering and illegal dumping by using our online reporting, by email, or by phone. Visit our website at http://kalbcares.com to find the online report under the Litter Control tab.
Take a stand against a littered community. It truly matters.
By: Lynne Hart