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Posted: March 30, 2011 1:00 a.m.

Giddens: A good haul, but there’s more to do

The numbers were impressive: Some 600 Newton County residents gathered on a soggy Saturday to help clean up the county.

It was the Great American Clean-up, and the campaign lived up to its name, drawing concerned cleanup crews of all ages from across the county for a day of giving back to the community.

The uniform of the day was yellow, as in the brightly-colored T-shirts handed out to participants and in the heavy dusting of pollen that covered everyone and everything.

Our crew from The Covington News cleaned out the creek at U.S. Highway 278 and Alcovy Road. Debris blown from the adjoining shopping centers was removed from the banks and a shopping cart was freed from the creek bed. When we were through, some 70 pounds of garbage (excluding the shopping cart) had been placed in a nearby business's trash receptacle. The creek wasn't pristine, but it was more than presentable.

Now, if everyone on Saturday averaged just 10 pounds of debris, that means 6,000 pounds of garbage was removed in a day from our roadsides.
Nice work, and accolades all around.

The paper crew will be back on the job in three months. We've signed up for quarterly cleanups under the Adopt-A-Mile program through the Clean-up campaign coordinator, Keep Covington/Newton Beautiful (, (770-784-2015).

And while it was a good haul, much remains to be done. Just drive up Ga. Highway 81 north of Oxford and check out the chair along the roadway, a dropped bag of household garbage and the piles of paper and bottles in miles and miles of ditches.

It's no better along Brown Bridge Road, where there's still an almost overwhelming amount of garbage along the road. All our main corridors need work.

It's awful.

That's where you come in.

You can call for help. For problems along state highways, call the Department of Transportation at (706) 343-5836. To report litter along county roads, call (770) 784-2097.

If you're able, you can get out there, too.

As exemplified on Saturday, in an hour, you can easily pick up 10 pounds of garbage, about a half a garbage bag, and then toss it in your can. Just consider it a one-and-off good deed.

If that's too much commitment for you, how about taking a grocery bag and five minutes time to walk out into your neighborhood and pick up a bit of the trash?

And if you don't have the time for that, how about picking up one just piece of trash on the sidewalk, or a can out on the road?

No, it's not your fault.

Yes, someone should have picked up after themselves, but it's there, so deal with it.


Tharon Giddens is editor of The Covington News. Reach him at (678) 750-5011 or at

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