John Culbreath, former school superintendent and Albany Rotary Club member, participated in a litter clean-up off of the Liberty Expressway Thursday as part of the “No Butts Please” initiative being spearheaded by the club’s president.
ALBANY, Ga. — After continually looking at cigarette butts alongside the city’s roadways, Albany Rotary Club President Steve Allen decided he had had enough.
Allen’s pet project, “No Butts Please,” is been coordinated by the Rotary Club in partnership with Keep Albany-Dougherty Beautiful to pick up litter throughout the community.
“This is an awareness event,” said KADB Executive Director Judy Bowles. “We need to remember that a reflection of the community is how it looks.
“We are delighted the Rotary adopted this. Cigarette butts are one of the issues in which people don’t think it is really litter, but they are there (on the ground) for 30-50 years.”
During Allen’s term as president, the club’s members are expected to be out on the streets — battling the heat and the gnats — during their regularly scheduled lunch meeting time on six occasions to pick up trash.
The first clean-up the civic club did was on Thursday along the west Liberty Expressway ramp of the Nottingham Way exit.
“I have seen people dump their ashtrays on this corner,” Allen said from the clean-up site. “It’s amazing to me that people don’t see cigarette butts as litter.
“These things get into our rivers and sewers. We need to get the community to clean it up.”
Getting the litter off of the ground is important, for no other reason, than to spur economic growth, Allen said.
“The Albany Rotary is made up of business owners,” he said. “It impacts us (and the community) when businesses don’t want to come here, and litter is one of the things they see.”
Allen told reporters Thursday that he had recently taken a 25-square-foot space, cleaned up the litter within that space and showed how much he had picked up at the following Rotary meeting.
“It was amazing to them (the club members) that the litter was only from a 5-foot-by-5-foot space,” he recalled.
The club is currently looking at other possible sites do to their upcoming clean-ups.
“Most of us don’t realize that the last thing we do before we leave for work is look at ourselves (in the mirror and correct imperfections),” Bowles said. “We need to hold the same standards for the community.”