Volunteers to squash litter bugs

Residents will get a chance to get “trashy” Saturday, as Keep Big Spring Beautiful and local volunteers get ready to clean up the Crossroads area during the annual Don't Mess With Texas Trash-Off.Trash-Off Coordinator Pat Simmons said there are a number of ways area residents and groups can get involved in the effort, whether it's tackling a piece of their own property or joining with other volunteers to spruce up an area in the community.“The Don’t Mess with Texas Trash-Off is less than a week away and Keep Big Spring Beautiful is encouraging every resident, business, church, school or organization to get involved,” Simmons said. “This can be done by taking a look at your own property, or you can take a look around the community and select a spot that needs your help. We have to get control of the trash and unsightly houses in our community. We need everyone's help to make the Trash-Off a success.”Simmons said it's important for residents to understand what parts of their property they are responsible for.“You're responsible for your residential, rental property, business, or vacant lots,” Simmons said. “You are responsible from the middle of the street to the center of the back alley, if you have one. Most people think it stops at the curb and this is the reason you see grass growing in the gutter area where lawn clipping have been left, which leaves an ugly appearance.”Janice Bishop, president of KBSB, said volunteering just a small portion of time each month can have a huge impact on the way the community looks.“If people just get out and spend an hour each month helping to pick up litter and trash, it can make a huge difference in our community,” she said. “I keep a bag in my car and when I'm going to a business I try to pick up as much litter as I can between my vehicle and the front door.“Of course, the best way to fight litter is to not let it get there in the first place. However, not all of it ends up out there intentionally. Unfortunately, though, the only way it's going to get picked up is if it's done intentionally, so we all have to contribute and do our part.”Simmons said she will be at the Chamber of Commerce office on W. Third Street from 9 a.m. until noon Friday to give out trash bags to interested persons.Volunteers will then join several other civic and governmental organizations in the main clean-up effort Saturday, according to Simmons, with efforts centered on Big Spring's main thoroughfares — Third and Fourth streets, Gregg Street and FM 700 — as well as other areas.“We have about 13 Adopt-A-Spots throughout town and groups will be out picking up trash in those areas,” Simmons said. “But people can pick up trash on different streets, lots ... wherever they want to clean.”Simmons asks that volunteers register with her before the event, whether they plan to request an area to clean or pick up litter in their own area or property.“This way we can get a head count of how many people are participating in the Trash-Off, which is important for the information we submit to Keep Texas Beautiful,” she said. “Even if you're just going to work on your own property, please call us and let us know so we can be as accurate as possible.”Saturday will be a “landfill free day” for the community during this year's Trash-Off. Residents can bring items to the landfill at no charge, said Simmons.For more information on the Trash-Off, contact Simmons at 432-263-4607.