10 Ways to Keep Rocky Mount Litter-Free

keep rocky mount litter free

“Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. What we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.”
-Chief Seattle

Local groups are making a difference in Rocky Mount. In June, the Keep America Beautiful of Nash and Edgecombe Counties was featured in The Rocky Mount Telegram where they reported the staggering results of a recent cleanup:

  • Volunteers removed 9,910 pounds of litter.
  • There were more than 1,268 volunteers. 
  • A total of 2,311 hours of labor was donated.

This group is one of several in our area that take up the mantle of environmental stewardship, rolling up their sleeves and making strides to improve the communities that we love. 

Are you interested in making a difference?  Following are 10 ways to help your neighborhood and make strides to keep Rocky Mount litter-free.

1. Keep America Beautiful of Edgecombe and Nash Counties

This is the local affiliate of the nationwide organization Keep America Beautiful. In addition to clean-up efforts, they also support volunteers who teach educational programs in schools and churches, These programs provide important information about the impact of litter on our environment and community. 

2. Adopt-a-Spot  

Is there a stream or area in your neighborhood you’d like to be responsible for keeping litter-free? Through Adopt-a-Spot, coordinated through Keep America Beautiful, your family, church or civic club can adopt a spot on a long-term basis. 

3. The Great American Cleanup

This is one of the largest community clean up campaigns in the country. You can work with friends or coworkers and volunteer from March to May. You can register as a volunteer by calling 252-467-4960.

4. Twin Counties Big Sweep

This event occurs September 29, so hurry up and get a team together to help beautify the area. You can fill out a registration form online. 

5. Riverkeeper Cup Cleanup Challenge

The waterways of the Tar River are popular for fishing, canoeing, and kayaking. Even those who don’t participate in water sports enjoy the views of the river as they walk along the Tar River Trail. The event, which typically occurs in April, starts at the Battle Park boat ramp. Volunteers can pick up trash in the park and those with boats collect waste that is in or around the river. Cleanup supplies and assignments for the challenge will be announced at the boat ramp.  The team that collects the most trash by weight will earn the prestigious Riverkeeper Cup.

6. Adopt-A-Highway Program

Not only does the Adopt-A-Highway Program make our roadsides cleaner, but this volunteer effort run by the N.C. Department of Transportation saves the taxpayers millions of dollars each year. Adopting-A-Highway is simple, effective and a wonderful way to promote your civic organization or remember someone you love. 

Here are a few useful facts to know if you’re considering joining the Adopt-A-Highway program:

  • There is no fee to participate.
  • Volunteer groups should commit at least four years to a two-mile stretch of roadway.
  • Cleanups must happen at least four times a year.
  • Cleanups may be needed more often on heavily traveled roads.
  • Volunteers are expected to follow all safety regulations.
  • The DOT provides reversible orange and blue bags that can be used to separate recyclables from trash.

If you want additional information, visit the frequently asked questions page of the N.C. DOT’s website.

7. Taking a walk? Carry a small trash bag with you.

Sadly, some of the popular walking trails may have some stray pieces of trash here and there. Take a small bag and a pair of gloves with you to pick up these items while you’re already in the area.

8. Make sure you bring adequate trash bags for outdoor events.

There are few things better than a family reunion at one of the covered shelters in our parks. However, cookouts can produce a lot of trash. Be sure you bring some additional garbage bags so park trashcans won’t be overflowing.

9. If you’re fishing, be sure to take lines and hooks with you.

Stray fishing lines can be caught in trees and cause problems for wildlife including birds and squirrels. In addition, be sure that your hooks are properly disposed of and not left at common fishing spots. These can be a horrible surprise for humans or pets who may step on them.

10. Dispose of your own trash.

Often, the best practices start at home. Be sure that the grounds around your own home or apartment are clean and that you separate recyclables from other trash.

If everyone works together, we can make a big difference.

Often, it’s the little things that make the biggest difference. We live in a beautiful area. These are some great opportunities to help us keep it that way. 

Related News: Rocky Mount Celebrates It's Beautiful Wildlife and Great Outdoors

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