TALKIN’ TRASH: DeKalb volunteers spread anti-litter messages with creative costumes, colorful signs

June 6, 20194min800
Cleanup 1
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Members of the Greater Hidden Hills Community Development Corporation (GHHCDC), in partnership with DeKalb County Super District 7 Commissioner Lorraine Cochran-Johnson, elevated their anti-litter campaign by sporting trash costumes during their June 1 cleanup. The Saturday cleanup marked the culmination of the “Your Community, Your Litter—Pick It Up! campaign, which was launched in March by GHHCDC and Cochran-Johnson.

Volunteers who donned the costumes waved and held up colorful signs with anti-litter messages to get the attention of motorists and pedestrians at the intersection of Covington Highway and South Hairston Road in South DeKalb. The goal was to call attention to the negative impact that litter can have on communities and businesses and encourage residents keep their communities clean.

“We hope our efforts have inspired people to show respect for our homes, parks and businesses,” said GHHCDC president Jan Costello. “We encourage all communities to join us daily by cleaning up our streets and putting an end to littering.”

Approximately 60 volunteers participated in the Saturday cleanup and were provided trash bags, gloves, pick-up sticks and safety vests by Keep DeKalb Beautiful for the event.  The volunteers collected nearly 50 bags of trash and two tires. Organizers said the volunteers worked approximately four hours and covered approximately five miles each, with the exception of areas along Commissioner Cochran-Johnson’s Adopt-A-Road locations, which covered two miles.

“I believe our effort may have been among the largest countywide cleanups undertaken in a single day,” said Commissioner Cochran-Johnson. “I was very inspired by the dedication our site captains displayed in organizing their cleanup locations, and want to especially thank Jan Costello, Phyllis Frierson, Nadine Rivers-Johnson, Mary Gude, and Stacey Harris for mobilizing their communities.”

As part of the campaign included jingle and video contests to build litter awareness and promote community pride. DeKalb students were invited to develop original content supporting the campaign theme. The winning jingle, “Stop, Drop, Pick It Up,” was created by Victoria Waterman and Mieya Moore, students at Eldridge L. Miller Elementary School. The winning video, “Pick It Up: Video 2,” was created by De’Ziya White, a senior at Martin Luther King, Jr. High School.

Cochran-Johnson’s office urges individuals who wish to organize a cleanup in their community to email amslocum@dekalbcountyga.gov or call 404-371-3681.

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