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Keep Newton Beautiful, volunteers focus on roadside, trail trash to kick off nationwide initiative
Great American Cleanup
Keep Newton Beautiful Manager Laurie Riley helps sign up volunteers on Saturday, March 27. - photo by Covington News/File Photo

COVINGTON, Ga. — Newton County residents rallied together Saturday, March 27, to help kick off the annual nationwide community improvement program, the Great American Cleanup.

Keep Newton Beautiful Manager Laurie Riley said the initiative was the biggest cleanup event of the year locally that mostly involves roadside litter cleanup.

“We are one affiliate of many across the country that are working on this day and other Saturdays to pick up trash around town,” Riley said. “And for Newton County, it’s a great way to bring awareness to the litter problem, because we do have a lot of litter on our roadways right now because the prison details haven’t been out picking up trash since COVID started. And so we need everyone to pitch in and help us clean up.”

Main areas of focus for volunteers on Saturday included Brown Bridge Road, Covington ByPass Road, the Cricket Frog Trail and some areas in Oxford.

Riley said the clean up initiative will run through May 31, “but we clean up all the time, everyday.”

“All of this [equipment needed to pick up trash] is available to people who want to clean up anytime,” Riley said. “We have supplies every day that people can come and pick up at our office, and we’re glad to support cleanups whenever anyone wants to have one.”

The Keep Newton Beautiful office is located at 1113 Usher St., Suite 201, in Covington.

Newton County resident Linda Triggs was one of several to take part in the cleanup event on Saturday. Since moving to the area in 2003, Triggs has placed great importance on helping keep the environment litter-free.

“This is my community, in which I live, and so how can it not be clean if I don’t help try to ensure the beauty of it?” Triggs said. “We are a product of the environment, and in order to sustain the environment, we have to put in our effort to do it. Not only just to do it, but to help it to breathe and live, and continue to be edified.”

County Chairman Marcello Banes was among the many volunteers who helped kick off the clean up initiative. He was thankful for the turnout and hoped the community would continue working together to keep the county looking its best.

“If we can all remember that each of us has a responsibility to maintain the beauty of our community, I know we will see a reduction of litter in our community,” Banes wrote in a social media post after the event. “By working together, we can continue to make a better Newton County.”

Covington Assistant City Manager John King and a group of city employees were among the first to start picking up trash along Brown Bridge Road.