By: Claire Tribble
Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful just completed our 4th Household Hazardous Waste Collection two weeks ago, and to say it was well utilized by the Limestone County community is an understatement. In the 4 short (or long, depending on who you ask) hours that we were accepting items, we saw almost 500 cars come through the line. Three full roll-offs of paint and paint products, 15 55-gallon drums of used motor oil, 15 (stacked double the normal height) pallets of televisions, endless fluorescent bulbs, drums full of various other chemicals, and mercury were ethically disposed of because the City of Athens and the Limestone County Commission helped fund this amazing event for us.
KALB staff and board members, volunteers, Clean Harbors and Huntsville Hazardous Waste employees, and County Commissioners Derrick Gatlin and LaDon Townsend along with their crews DID NOT STOP! We worked through the rain to move cars as efficiently as possible, and it paid off tremendously! By doing this, we gave residents an opportunity to dispose of chemicals and items that are nearly impossible to at no cost to them. We cannot thank all the volunteers and employees for their hard work on that rainy day! And of course, the Limestone County Commission and the City of Athens are integral in allowing this event to take place — a thank you does not seem adequate.
2023 Membership Drive
Why would you be a member of Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful? Well, in the first half of the year, we removed 10,380 POUNDS of litter from public land throughout the county. We held 16 educational events with 976 student attendees. We had 268 volunteers from Limestone County help us at these events. Our Beautification Board has planted pots around downtown Athens each season for the patrons to admire as they dine and shop. They have maintained the “Welcome to Athens” signs so that visitors’ first impressions are positive. All that being said, KALB is a non-profit organization, which means we rely on donations, appropriations, and volunteers to make all of this happen.
As Limestone County continues to grow, so does our litter problem. No one wants to drive down our streets and roads and see someone’s garbage scattered about. It’s disgusting and it makes Athens and Limestone look trashy. Who would want to live here or have a business here when something as basic as throwing your trash in a garbage can can’t be done? We’ve been fighting this war since KALB was founded in 1977. While we work and hope for a change every day, we aren’t anticipating an abrupt ending anytime soon, so we need your help!
Education is a big part of what we do at KALB. Every year, we go into the 5th grade 4-H classes in both the city and county schools. We play Environmental Jeopardy with the students. This spring at Athens Intermediate School was my first time playing. I must admit, I learned a lot. The kids were overwhelmed with some of the facts they learned. One of the questions (it was multiple choice) was “How many aluminum cans are made in 1 minute in the world.” The answer was 350,000 cans every MINUTE. We had one student in Mrs. Anderson’s class do the math — that’s 504,000,000 aluminum cans made per day. The lesson here was that eventually the ore will run out, so RECYCLE your cans. We all learned that six weeks after a can is recycled, it has been cleaned, melted down, reformed, and is back on the shelf.
Our biggest educational program is 4-H, but we have different programs and lessons for all ages! We would love the opportunity to come to your classroom; you can call or email anytime and we will get you on our schedule! We believe that the younger you start teaching them, the larger the impact will be. This is something that will benefit everyone.
We need everyone’s support to continue on our mission! Consider becoming a member of Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful, and help us help you! Stop by the KALB office at 125 East Street for a Membership Form, or request the form via email at KALBCares@gmail.com .
By: Claire Tribble
Executive Director, Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful