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Posted: March 20, 2012 12:11 p.m.

Great American Cleanup coming soon

The local community will team up once again Saturday to help Covington stay beautiful through The Great American Cleanup.

The Great American Cleanup is the nation’s largest annual community improvement program and is part of the national program Keep America Beautiful.

The project attracts a large number of volunteers of all ages, because no one wants to live in a litter-filled community, and anyone can help pick up trash and beautify his or her community in some way. 

Although the project is only one day, much planning goes into this cleanup. Laurie Riley, director of Keep Covington/Newton Beautiful director, said volunteers started signing up for the event as early as October. All together, planning the one-day event took about three months, including volunteer sign-up, making T-shirts and coordinating cleaning areas.

Donna Sneed, a three-year Great American Cleanup Covington Kiwanis volunteer noted the project brings the community together

“You see everyone from students, attorneys and judges all working together to clean up the streets,” she said.

Recycling is also a big part of the event. Sneed said that by the end of the event, her Kiwanis group fills up a whole pick-up truck with trash her group sorts for recycling.

Recycling and litter pickup are only two of the diverse activities that KAB suggests. Volunteers are also encouraged to plant flowers and trees, paint and repair houses and other buildings and hold litter free events.

Riley has worked with the Great American Cleanup for several years and has watched the program grow progressively larger.

“Cleanup has continued to grow,” she said. “This year we have over 500 volunteers.”

Five-hundred volunteers is quite the contrast to 300, which was about the number the program started with.

Sneed also commented on the project’s vast size. 

“It’s kind of neat seeing 500 people with the same shirt start in the same place and then go off to clean different parts of the community,” she said.

The Great American Cleanup has expanded this year and it has reached maximum capacity.

However, Riley does not want that to discourage any other community members from participating.

Interested members are welcome to show up Saturday to volunteer. Riley said they will find a place for eager, non-registered volunteers; they just will not be guaranteed 9 a.m. breakfast at Longhorn’s and a T-shirt.

For more information, visit KCNB's website, www.kcnb.biz, send email to newtonclean@co.newton.ga.us or call (770) 784-2015.

Nicole Goetz is a student at Oxford College of Emory University. She can reach at ngoetz93@gmail.com.

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