Keep Covington/Newton Beautiful (KCNB) needs volunteers to clean up roadside litter during the Great American Cleanup, the nation’s largest annual community improvement program. KCNB’s kickoff event will be at 9 a.m. March 29 at Longhorn Steakhouse of Covington, rain or shine.
Mamie’s Kitchen Biscuits, Brown Bridge Road location, is providing biscuits for volunteers. KCNB will provide t-shirts (for the first 800 registrants) and garbage bags.
"The Great American Cleanup offers an opportunity to bring greater awareness to the litter problem, while also stressing the need for prevention and working toward a solution. KCNB is aware of the litter in our community, and we know that a clean community is vital to economic development," said Laurie Riley, KCNB director.
"We’ve received many calls about the amount of trash on roads around the community. When we get requests for trash pickup, the local roads are added to a list for county inmate workers to clean. Usually, there are one or two inmate worker crews picking up trash on county roads. State roads are added to a list for the D.O.T., which oversees a couple of state inmate crews that clean up along state highways in our region,’’ Riley said.
"Due to budget cuts, litter pickup has recently become a lower priority for the D.O.T., and state crews are not out as often. All inmates must meet certain criteria to be able to work on the details. Also, a guard has to go out with each detail. By law, these work details can’t go out if the weather is too cold or rainy. In the summer, they can’t go out if it’s too hot. So, our largest resource for trash pickup remains our local volunteers."
More than 1,300 volunteers in Newton County participated in Great American Cleanup litter cleanup and educational programs last year and removed more than 50,000 pounds of trash alongside roadways.
KCNB encourages individuals, families, civic clubs, and business, church, neighborhood, school, and other groups to organize volunteers for projects at their individual sites and along local roads. Suggested activities include litter pickup, painting and repairing houses and other buildings, planting flowers, starting recycling programs, and holding litter-free events.
Groups can choose to clean up anywhere they’d like, but KCNB has a list of suggested roads. They include Salem Road/Highway 162; Highways 11, 36, 212, and 142; Brown Bridge Road; Henderson Mill Road; Covington Bypass Road; Fairview Road; Smith Store Road; and Kirkland Road, among others.