John Willoughby: Greene Publishing, Inc.
As the morning of Saturday, March 24, approached, long before 9 a.m., participants began gathering at the Madison County Courthouse for roadway assignments to clean up the litter from some select roadways in Madison. The energy was high and the atmosphere was charged as volunteers were eager to get started.
Clean Up Madison, a county-wide community event, gathered numerous citizens to help make the community look excellent, eliminating most of the litter from some of the roadways in Madison County. Some elected officials, businesses, organizations, churches and other volunteers cast the makeup of dedicated citizens, determined to make a difference in the appearance of the county's roadways and communities. Broad Spectrum/Ferrovial Service and its fleet of seven or more specialized vehicles, set the scene as they parked near the courthouse, along US Hwy. 90, with their flashing lights on and their personnel outfitted in fluorescent attire. Team Nestle Waters and their 14 participants chose to complete their roadway clean up assignment on Friday, March 23. Tri-County Electric Cooperative’s Team, Team Brandon Mugge, Team Kiwanis, Team Rotary, Team CrossPointe Church, Team Lee and The Church of Christ, 99 participants in all, had previously organized their teams, picked up their litter control materials and began working on their assigned roadways early Saturday morning.
Approximately 85 other participants were assigned to specific teams at the courthouse before the event and were given vests and other materials to work with. Members of the planning team, led by: Edward Meggs, Madison County Community Bank; Jerome Wyche, Madison County Solid Waste and Recycling Coordinator; Phyllis Williams, Madison County Chamber of Commerce; and Mickie Salter, Ferrovial Project Administrator provided instructions to the seven new teams that were formed.
At the end of the day, most of the volunteers returned to the Winn-Dixie parking lot to turn in the equipment they were given, and bring their bags of litter and other debris to be deposited into two open-top containers provided by the Madison County Solid Waste and Recycling Department. The litter that was collected by the community participants included plastic bags, beverage containers and packaging, feed bags, styrofoam cups and food containers, food wrappings bags and boxes from fast food restaurants, cardboard, tires and tire recapping pieces, as well as some pieces of wood. When the accumulated debris was weighed, it was determined that four and a half tons of debris were collected from Madison County's roadways.
The Clean Up Madison planning team would like to express a well-deserved thank you for the efforts and dedication of more than 200 community volunteers that resulted in a majority of the county's roadways looking extremely appealing and mostly litter-free. Citizens of all ages are asked to be attentive and put forth effort to refrain from littering. Clean Up Madison may become an annual event. However, the desire to keep the Madison County community clean should be a priority of all citizens. According to Wyche, although the event covered several roadways, there are still some roadways that could be cleaned. “To help keep Madison clean, let’s agree to return to an education process of not littering and set the example for our younger generation,” said Wyche.