Savannah Police are using a new city ordinance to crack down on people who throw trash in Savannah’s parks and waterways. On Savannah’s litter pick up day, Officers joined forces with hundreds of volunteers to keep  Savannah beautiful.

80 organizations filled up bags of trash across the city on Saturday. Volunteers in Savannah’s Crawford Ward say keeping Savannah clean is important to them and to people who live there. 

Crawford Ward volunteers dug through bushes and gutters to look for trash. Together, they filled more than two dozen bags, mostly with cigarette butts and to-go cups.

Students from Habersham School also joined in.

“It feels good. I think everyone should pitch in, do a little bit each day. Every little bit helps,” said Lee Grigsby, a volunteer.

That’s the idea behind the Clean Community Ordinance. City council passed it on Thursday. In Thomas Square, city leaders — including Mayor Edie DeLoach and Savannah Police Chief Roy Minter — celebrated its passage.

Savannah native and America’s Got Talent star Flau’jae was also there. She wrote and sang a rap song about the effort.

“We’re going after guns, gangs and drugs, but we’re also going to focus on those quality of life issues — such as littering — that also have an impact on our community,” said Minter.  “This is a serious concern because we want to make sure we have a safe and a clean community.” 

Minters says his officers are serious about enforcing the ordinance.

According to the ordinance, police can now fine you for littering in parks and waterways. It’s $50 for your first offense, $75 for your second offense and $150 for your third. 

Police can also fine you for sweeping litter into gutters and putting it into overflowing trash cans. 

Those on the front lines say it’s good news and they’re happy to help with enforcement. “I do not hesitate when I see someone do something, I say ‘Excuse me! We live here. Have some respect for us. please pick up your trash,” said Marysue McCarthy, a ward captain.