Volunteers Take Action To Tackle Cowtown’s Litter Problem

Volunteers clean up litter and debris
Volunteers clean up litter and debris | Image by Keep Fort Worth Beautiful/Facebook

Following a disappointing survey that showed Fort Worth residents were dissatisfied with the city’s lack of cleanliness, the annual Cowtown Great American Cleanup was held.

Keep Fort Worth Beautiful coordinator Avery Pesek told The Dallas Express that the Cowtown Cleanup had record registration this year. The event saw the removal of 133,767 pounds of litter, and 240 miles of roadway were cleaned. Pesek also said that 4,824 volunteers participated, 1,843 of whom were youth.

“Our next cleanup is in the historic Stop Six area. No registration is needed. Volunteers are welcome to show up and clean up,” Pesek told DX. The event will be held on April 13.

Sue Hall, a Northwest Fort Worth resident, attended the Cowtown Great American Cleanup on March 23. The event was held in several parks and neighborhoods across the city.

Hall said the litter problem has worsened due to more people moving into the city. She recounted her story to KERA about seeing a driver drop a McDonald’s bag out of his car.

“You just threw that out in your front yard,” Hall said as she watched the man toss the bag and pull into his driveway.

“The litter’s [gotten] worse, but, of course, there’s more people that have moved here,” Hall added.

Hall was one of hundreds of volunteers who participated in Fort Worth’s annual cleanup event.

Fort Worth residents are not the only ones concerned about the amount of trash strewn throughout their neighborhoods.

A DX poll conducted last year showed that 58.6% of residents were not pleased with “the amount of trash, litter, or junk” they have seen in their community and “elsewhere in the City of Dallas.”

Recently, the City of Dallas announced that its Code Compliance Services Department had partnered with Keep Dallas Beautiful to address the litter problem and improve the quality of life in the city. Similar collaboration the previous year resulted in over 2,600 residents collecting and disposing of more than 275,000 pounds of trash via various community events, reported DX.

Still, local organizations like the Metroplex Civic & Business Association have been stepping up to fill in the purported gaps left by City services, organizing its own “adopt-a-block” events with its member businesses.

The initiative to clean up neighborhoods and communities extends to the state level too, as Texas prepares for its annual “Don’t mess with Texas Trash-Off” in April. Volunteers will come together to pick up litter along Texas roadways.

“The Texas Trash-Off is the single largest one-day cleanup event in the state and serves as Texas’s signature event for the Keep America Beautiful Great American Cleanup,” Tony Hartzel, the director of Northeast Texas communications at the Texas Department of Transportation, told DX.

“All Texans should do their part to reduce litter on roadways, and the Texas Trash-Off gives Texans a way to help keep our roadways clear. Adopt-A-Highway volunteers are asked to collect trash from two-mile sections of roadways four times a year, including during the Trash-Off in April,” he said.

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