Registration underway for Great American Cleanup

COVINGTON -- Registration for the Great American Cleanup hosted by Keep Covington/Newton Beautiful is currently taking place. More than 1,200 volunteers participated last year, collecting 75,000 pounds of trash from local roadways.

"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," said KCNB Director Laurie Riley. "KCNB is aware of the litter in our community, and we know that a clean community is vital to economic development."

The event will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 23, at LongHorn Steakhouse of Covington. Registration is requested by March 15, although walk-ups will be welcomed the day of the event.

The first 750 registrants will receive a free T-shirt. Registration forms are available at www.kcnb.biz. Fax completed forms to 770-784-2082, or scan and email to newtonclean@co.newton.ga.us.

Riley said the clean up is vital to keep roads clear of litter.

"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 (Department of Transportation), which oversees a couple of state inmate crews that clean up along state highways in our region," she said. "Due to budget cuts, litter pickup has recently become a lower priority for the DOT, 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."

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.

KCNB offers a list of roads that receive the most frequent citizen requests for litter pickup. These include: Salem Road; Highways 36, 212 and 142; Brown Bridge Road; Henderson Mill Road; Covington Bypass Road; Fairview Road; Smith Store Road; and Kirkland Road.

If volunteers are unavailable to work on Saturday, March 23, they may participate on another date of their choice. If it rains on March 23, KCNB will still meet volunteers to give them supplies and breakfast at LongHorn, but volunteers can reschedule their cleanup projects for other days when the weather will be more suitable.

After groups participate in the Great American Cleanup, KCNB is encouraging them to Adopt-a-Mile.Groupsthat commit to clean up four times per year along 1 mile of road, street or highway get a sign erected recognizing their efforts.

KCNB visits schools, civic clubs, and other groups with litter prevention programs. The most popular program, the Detective Seymore Green puppet show, is available March through May. The organization's goal is to inspire positive behavior change through acceptance of personal responsibility for a clean and beautiful community. To schedule a puppet show performance or another program designed for your group, email newtonclean@co.newton.ga.us.