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Miller-Coors employees clean up trash

Photo by Laura Williams

Photo by Laura Williams

ALBANY, Ga. -- As temperatures soared into the mid-90s Friday afternoon and executives across town were leaving their offices for a jump on the weekend, dozens of Miller-Coors employees swapped their beer suds for work duds to help beautify Albany.

A community service initiative, Friday's clean-up effort is part of the organization's continued efforts to promote environmentally friendly habits among its workers and bolster its posture as one of the area's most active corporate citizens.

"At Miller-Coors we strive to be proactive in our communities and to help really better them through community service and involvement," Albany Plant Manager Timothy Dill said. "It's not just about making great beer, it's about being a friend to the environment and a friend to the community."

Devorah Gibson, a biochemical engineer at Miller, was one of nearly 30 employees who braved the temperatures and speeding vehicles to pick up discarded litter Friday.

With her group responsible for cleaning the swath of land between the rideshare at the intersection of Philema Road and Jefferson Street south to Eighth Avenue, Gibson -- clad in her distinctive yellow Miller-Coors shirt and a mechanical "grabber" -- went to work.

The group also put down hundreds of storm-drainage markers. The distinct little turtle markers may appear to be rather simple pieces of metal to stick to the drains, but given that there are literally hundreds if not thousands of storm drains in Dougherty County, the undertaking is significant, officials say.

Judy Bowles, head of Keep Albany-Dougherty Beautiful, bragged about Miller and its employees as they were organizing before beginning their mission.

"They are a true corporate citizen," Bowles said. "From a business perspective, they're vital to the local economy and provide jobs that are desperately needed. But from a community perspective, they're really involved in making a difference."

Officials at Miller-Coors have agreed to completely fund KADB's storm drainage marker program, which will put markers on all of the drains by the time the initiative is completed.

Dill said that the company's efforts to "go green" don't stop at merely picking up trash and litter on the sides of the roadway. All of the corporate brewing facilities have imposed on themselves a goal of reducing their total energy and water consumption in the coming years.

Last year, Albany and Dougherty County officials worked with brewery officials to renew a 15-year agreement to keep the Albany facility -- and its jobs -- in town.