Groups work to fight litter

Published 7:45 pm Tuesday, February 28, 2017

It’s no secret that Selma and Dallas County have a litter problem, but several groups are making an effort to change that.

This past weekend Keep It Clean Selma and a group organized by Commissioner Valerie Reuben, took to the streets to pick up trash.

“I just got tired of riding down [the highway] and looking at all of the litter,” she said. “I decided someone needed to do something.”

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Reuben’s group targeted Old Montgomery Highway and U.S. Highway 80, while Keep It Clean Selma targeted Summerfield Road. Councilwoman Miah Jackson has also started a group in Ward 3 called Litter Free in Ward 3 that also held a clean-up day in February.

Reuben said a group of about 22 people showed up this past Saturday to help clean up. She said they got started around 8:45 a.m. and split up from there targeting different areas on Old Montgomery Highway and U.S. Highway 80.

“It was a good turnout. I had some of my family, some of my church family, we had some volunteers off the base, some out of Selmont and a guy off of Highway 80,” Reuben said.

She said the group of about 22 volunteers picked up several truckloads of trash, and she hopes to have even more help and pick up even more trash.

“We had 22 this time, so maybe the next time we’ll have 32,” Reuben said.

Jackson, whose group had a trash pickup day the weekend before said their effort in Ward 3 focused on the Riverview area. Jackson hopes the groups that are taking part in this effort around town and in the county, can set a good example for others to follow.

“The more we come back, the more impact is made of how important this is, so we’ve just got to keep going back,” Jackson said. “We know we can’t totally eradicate it, but until we can find a viable solution we just don’t want it to become a public hazard and a nuisance in our area.”

Jackson said it is important for groups like hers, Keep It Clean Selma and Reuben’s group to make the effort to clean up.

“When they see that leaders and everyday people and citizens are joining together to help, the more they see your face in the community picking up trash, you see people begin to instead of throwing it out pick it up,” Jackson said.

“I think once we’re in the neighborhoods they see that we’re serious and we want to contribute to the solutions and we’re not condemning them or saying that it won’t get any better.”

Jackson said Keep It Clean Selma is teaming up with the Litter Free in Ward 3 campaign to help clean up before the Selma Historic Pilgrimage, which is March 17-18. Jackson said they will be cleaning up on March 11 and welcomes anyone to help out.