Volunteers stash the trash

Photo by Carly Farrell

Photo by Carly Farrell

ALBANY, Ga. -- The Eastgate Subdivision "Stash-the-Trash" teams spread out from a parking lot on Sylvester Road at Lexington Drive just after 9 a.m. Saturday.

Those teams cleaned up neighborhood streets of fast-food bags, soda bottles and any other litter they could find as part of an Albany and Dougherty County beautification effort.

"We had a record 2,823 people sign up. The number just keeps growing," said Judy Bowles, executive director of Keep Albany-Dougherty Beautiful.

"Last year we picked up 46 tons of debris and trash," Bowles said.

"This year? Who knows? More people, more trash probably."

Acting as organizer, City Commissioner Jon Howard assigned streets to various captains in the Eastgate group of more than 25 armed with trash bags and trash-grabbing tools.

"This is a nice neighborhood and we try to keep this neighborhood up pretty well," said Oris Jefferson, a 40-year resident. "This is a good way to meet neighbors, talk to them and do a little work to help out."

Neighborhood resident Willie Turner led her assigned team of Girl Scouts and Brownies from Avalon United Methodist Church along Lexington Drive to their designated clean up area.

"I'm doing this for my community service badge," said Shelby Batchelor, 8, a Brownie. "It is the right thing to do."

Girl Scout Trinity Hall, 11, chimed in with her thoughts.

"We are doing community service for neighborhoods," Hall said. "That is what Girls Scouts do."

No time for talking. After the girls were assigned their clean-up captain, Rita Hall, a Junior Girl Scout leader turned to her team and said, "Let's go girls."