Saturday morning, only two groups registered to participate for the Great American Cleanup, but that was because about 500 people already had registered for the event.
Saturday’s Great American Cleanup by Keep Troup Beautiful saw groups across the county collecting trash and litter from the roadside, woods, trails, parking lots and other areas in an effort to curb litter. As part of the event, KTB also collected cans and tires. Saturday, about 900,000 cans had been collected for recycling and about three dumpsters full of tires turned in.
The total amount of trash collected hadn’t been tallied, but last year the event brought in 20,000 pounds of trash. The cleanup also is a national event and about 19,000 other communities were holding cleanups Saturday, KTB officials said.
West Point will kick off its cleanup at 9 a.m. Satuday in the Givorns Foods parking lot on East 10th Street.
Events in LaGrange and Hogansville drew the cleaning groups for prizes. One of the awards went to the group that collected the strangest item, which went to a group from Long Cane Middle School Junior Beta Club for a pipe they found between Long Cane Middle and Long Cane Elementary schools.
The LCMS group had a big turnout with 54 people.
“We only expected 10 to 15 people, but we had 54 people show up,” said Patti Smith, a volunteer and sixth grade teacher at the school. “… The kids got to have fun, talked, found cool stuff and gross stuff.”
The school group also won for most bags collected by a group with five people or more. They took home a total $75 in awards.
Debby Battle, troop leader for Cub Scout pack 324, which picked up in the parking lot of Beechwood Furniture Outlet and Krystal on Commerce Avenue, said his three scouts had a good time picking up trash and learned why littering is a problem.
“My young guys were excited about it and saying that people shouldn’t throw trash out of their windows,” Battle said.
Scout De’Jaylin Battle interjected: “They’re just lazy for doing that. They can’t just walk to a trash can?”
KTB executive director Doris Jefferson said this year’s cleanup “went wonderfully.” She added this year had a high attendance rate.
“I’m real excited about the turnout. It was a beautiful day and lot of people came and did a lot of work,” Jefferson said, also thanking the event’s sponsors and elected officials that helped with the event. “… There were a lot of people out in the community at different places doing a lot of work.”