STATESBORO, Ga. (WSAV) — The City of Statesboro and Keep Statesboro-Bulloch Beautiful hosted a Great American Cleanup event on Saturday.
From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., volunteers equipped with trash bags and face coverings helped to clear litter from designated zones around town.
“We do this because we want to take pride in Statesboro,” said Keep Statesboro-Bulloch Beautiful coordinator Amanda Clements.
“It’s not just the city personnel’s responsibility, but it’s a responsibility on everybody [because] we all contribute to the trash and litter in some form or fashion whether we realize it or not,” Clements told WSAV NOW.
She says eager volunteers showed up about half an hour early to participate in the community event.
“This year, it looked a little bit different because of COVID-19, so we’re having to be a little innovative with how we have our cleanups because public safety comes first,” Clements said.
During previous cleanup events, Statesboro volunteers would meet up at a central location to pick up trash together.
“We’ve started to do a drive-through event so that people can stay in their vehicles wearing masks and and cleaning off equipment as they come through to make sure that both of us stay safe,” Clements said.
Volunteers first stopped at the Statesboro Convention and Visitors Bureau to register and pick up supplies before heading to cleanup zones throughout the city.
“We’ve put masks in our supply bags that we hand out so when they get to a location and they don’t happen to have a mask with them, they’re able to put on a mask and have their gloves, trash bags and vests with them,” she added.
Throughout 2020 and the ongoing pandemic, Clements says personal protective equipment has comprised most of Statesboro’s litter.
“The disposable masks and gloves have been very much noticeable,” she said, adding, “To-go containers and Styrofoam are also a really big issue that we’ve seen.”
The first 100 volunteers received free t-shirts when driving through to receive their cleanup supplies.
Clements says she hopes people will remember to be mindful of their impact on the environment.
“I think it’s everybody’s responsibility to be able to put forth the effort to be able to say, ‘hey, I picked up a piece of trash that I saw,’ instead of just continually walking past it,” Clements said.
“If we all pitched in and did one little thing a day, our cities would look different, our community would look different,” she said.