A Call To Action! – Clean & Green

By: Lynne Hart
We know that most people truly do care about their local environment. We know for certain that Mayor Ronnie Marks cares about the litter situation in Athens! Our mayor is passionate about this problem and joins KALB in encouraging participation in reversing the problem.

On May 12, KALB, TVA, and WOW! Internet+tv+phone will host the 2018 TRASH ATTACK to remove litter from our roadsides, waterways, and public lands. This is an opportunity for residents and the business community within Athens and Limestone County to turn their concern into action. Groups may pick up trash anywhere within Limestone County, including the Elk River (since we had to cancel our River Cleanup).

It seems the litter situation has grown recently, and we are trying to determine the source of some of this litter. We have invited the community to call our LITTER HOTLINE 256-233-8000 to report observed litter incidents. That would include someone tossing litter out of a vehicle, loose items blowing out of the backs of pickup trucks, or debris flying from commercial trucks. We can’t be everywhere, so your eyes become our eyes. KALB works with the Athens Police Department and the Sheriff’s office. All reports are kept confidential from the offender, so don’t be afraid to call.

Reporting is very helpful; however, we also need to clean up what’s out there. TRASH ATTACK is meant to accomplish that. Let’s all stop complaining about the litter and let’s work together to do something about it. Clean your neighborhood or a road that you think is an eye sore. Clean the roadway in front of your business. Get your waders on and clean a waterway, such as those that run through Athens or around the Elk River. There is more than enough trash to keep everyone busy!

Seriously, litter in our community hurts everyone. Trashy roadsides and public lands reflect poorly on all who live and work here. It says something about all of us, even if we are not litterbugs. It speaks loudly to scouts looking for a place to locate their company. That may be unfair, but it is reality.

Litter is also harmful to wildlife. I love a quote by Matthew Scully: “Animals are more than ever a test of our character, of mankind’s capacity for empathy and for decent, honorable conduct and faithful stewardship. We are called to treat them with kindness, not because they have rights or power or some claim to equality, but in a sense because they don’t; because they all stand unequal and powerless before us.” I believe very strongly that with stewardship of the earth comes great responsibility. We are not the owners of this planet. We are the caretakers. Since humans are the only creature on this planet that litters, animals that are choked, sickened, or killed by our litter is our responsibility and our fault.

• We challenge everyone to get a group together and register for the event. Registration is not required, but is helpful for us to prepare properly.
• We challenge every business and industry within Limestone County to put together a team to clean roadsides near their business. That will not only help the community, but will reflect positively on your business.
• If you can’t find a group to work with you, come anyway! We’ll match you up with a group or other individuals.

• Challenge others! Extend a challenge to other businesses. KALB has already challenged every city councilman and every county commissioner to get a team together to clean an area within their district. Keep their feet to the fire! Ask your city councilman or county commissioner if they have their team together.

We’d like to know you’re coming so we can be prepared with enough food and supplies. You can register by visiting our website at www.KALBCares.com and clicking the TRASH ATTACK link on the home page. You may also call the KALB office at 256-233-8000. You can also sign up online at www.signupgenius.com. Click the search icon and enter our email address KALBCares@gmail.com to find the Trash Attack signup link. Be sure to let us know how many will be participating with you.

We talk about litter in this town a lot! Let’s see how many tons of trash we as a community working together can remove! We’ll see you there!