Keep On Keepin’ On

By: Claire Tribble

At Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful, volunteers are the ones who make us succeed in our mission. We are always calling on members from the Athens-Limestone community to step up and help us at cleanups and events. Even the Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful Board of Directors is made up of people volunteering their time for both meetings and events. The past few months, I have been working on a project that requires me to track volunteers and their hours. I was blown away when I tallied all the information.

Since January of 2024, we have had 294 different volunteers join us in 26 different cleanups and events, and many of them helped with multiple events. They volunteered a total of 674.5 hours, picking up 3,440 pounds litter and working events. That’s 28.1 days’ worth of time that some amazing Limestone County residents dedicated to making a difference in our county. The national rate for volunteer work is currently valued at $33.49 per hour. That’s $22,589.01 worth of labor! That’s fantastically impressive.

As amazing as all the statistics that I just stated are, the sad part is that we could spend the same amount of time picking up litter this month in Limestone County, and we’d only be making a dent in our litter problem. Thankfully, I have seen the State of Alabama out working on our highways again. We are not able to pick up on the sides of highways because they are way too dangerous, and we do not have the manpower or resources to set up caution areas. We are just grateful for the help again.

What’s the solution? We’re not sure, but we are trying a little bit of everything at this point. We try our best to educate, young and old alike. We have put out PSAs to please bag your trash so it doesn’t fly out of the garbage truck as it travels to the transfer station. We have been handing out litter bags for your vehicles at all our events lately. We encourage you to report litter and illegal dumping if you are able to get the date, time, location, and license plate so that we can file a report with the Athens Police Department and the Limestone County Sheriff’s Department.

So for now, I guess we’ll just keep on keepin’ on. We will keep asking for more amazing volunteers to help us help Limestone. If you, your company, or any kind of group ever want to have a cleanup, reach out to us. We will always provide you with litter grabbers, gloves, safety vests, buckets, and bags. We can also help you with planning and promotion if you want to make it a larger event.

By: Claire Tribble – Executive Director, Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful