Communities prepare for statewide cleanup

Published 7:53 pm Saturday, April 14, 2018

By: Oniska Blevins

Community members across the state of Alabama are gearing up for spring cleaning.

As an effort to promote a litter free state, Alabama People Against a Littered State (ALPALS) is having its 2018 statewide “Don’t Drop It On Alabama” Spring Cleanup.

Participation in the cleanup is open to all counties throughout the state. A representative from each county must reach out to the organization and express their interest in participating in the cleanup.

All contact persons for each county are given trash bags to collect litter in their communities.

Since its start in 1987, ALPALS’ mission has been to create successful statewide litter prevention programs that improve and beautify every corner of Alabama.

Spencer Ryan, ALPALS executive vice president, said there are many benefits to cleaning up the community.

“It’s been a proven fact that a clean community that shows pride in their community is much more attractive for economic development and we see that across the state,” he said.

He said taking pride in your community not only helps with tourism, but it improves the quality of life.

All materials and supplies, including 200,000 trash bags, were distributed statewide to all participating cities, counties and volunteer groups. The cleanup will be during the week of April 21-28.

Interested volunteers are encouraged to contact their local coordinator to join an existing cleanup, or establish their own local cleanup within their respective community.

Last year, more than 400 tons of litter was reported and 65 counties participated in the cleanup.

Orrville mayor Louvenia Lumpkin said the town has done cleanups before, but this is the town’s first year participating in “Don’t Drop it on Alabama” with ALPALS.

Lumpkin said she is excited to see the progress made after this massive effort and to witness the potential a cleaner town brings.

“Anytime your community looks clean, maybe a few more people will stop in and say hello,” she said.

The city received 450 trash bags and Lumpkin thinks there is enough litter to fill each one of them.

She said this is a communal effort, and each smaller town within Orrville will receive bags to pass out to community members and leaders to ensure no part of Orrville is left untouched.

Churches within the town will be involved as well.

“We have almost 20 churches inside of the town of Orrville, so I’m gonna ask each church to participate,” she said.

Aside from the spring cleanup, the ALPALS sponsor other programs in efforts to achieving their mission of a clean and more beautiful Alabama.

The Alabama Coastal Cleanup, the Alabama Clean Campus Program, the Alabama Adopt A Mile and Adopt A Stream are some of their statewide programs.

Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED is the title sponsor for this year’s cleanup.

The partnership enabled ALPALS to incorporate recycling into the annual cleanup.

In an effort to offer recycling to all Alabama counties during the cleanup in future years, ALPALS and Coca-Cola UNITED will work with cleanup coordinators in Tuscaloosa, Jefferson, Marshall and Cullman counties this year to establish a recycling model for future years.

ALDOT, Alfa Alabama Farmer’s Cooperative, Vulcan Materials Company, Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, the Association of County Commissions of Alabama, The Poarch Band of Creek Indians and Alabama Power Company all partner with ALPALS for the “Don’t Drop It On Alabama” Spring Cleanup.

For more information on the cleanup, joining the effort or to view the list of all cleanup coordinators, visit alpals.org.