KEEP CRISP BEAUTIFUL – Letter to the Editor

Published 1:05 pm Thursday, March 4, 2021

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Dear Editor,

Keep Crisp Beautiful and the Cordele-Crisp Chamber of Commerce have spent years working to clean up and address trash in Cordele and Crisp County.  The trash issue affects our business and tourism environment as well as the quality of life of our citizens. Significant litter challenges are not unique to Cordele. Unfortunately, it is an obstacle that plagues many rural areas in Georgia.  Our community is currently littered with excessive trash on and next to the roads and alleys, in ditches, mixed in with overgrown brush, and in the rainwater drainage system.  Many of our citizens continue to contribute to the litter challenge by throwing trash on the ground while walking or driving, and not bagging their trash.  Trash falls from carts when being collected and has fallen from trucks while going to the landfill. This is a multi-faceted and systemic obstacle that will take time and money to address.

As you know, Keep Crisp Beautiful has hosted community clean-ups, trash drop-off events, and various other trash initiatives over the years. During the past year, we have been able to get a number of new people to the table to brainstorm and work on this challenging issue.  Here is a list of our progress and goals:

  • Collaborated with the City and County to establish a land bank, which must establish bylaws and finish filling board seats before acquiring and cleaning blighted properties;
  • Secured funding for litter pick up program, which is scheduled to begin in the next few weeks;
  • Provide educational material for all age groups on the impact of litter to the community and environment;
  • Reached an agreement with Waste Management (formerly Advanced Disposal) where they will place dumpsters at Williams Field and Westview Cemetery during the second week of each month for drop-offs to save residents the trip to the landfill;
  • Reviewed the trash pick-up contract to determine ways to maximize the value the community receives from the contract;
  • Began to research the effect of misuse to our storm drains and the direct impact it has on our water treatment facilities;
  • Obtained trash cans to place in areas with high foot traffic; and
  • Working with city/county law and codes enforcement about enforcing existing trash-related laws and ordinances.

As community stake holders, we encourage you to keep your property clean and free of trash and debris (other examples: old appliances and furniture, as well as dilapidated boats, grills, and cars). If everyone will keep their area clean, it would make a huge difference.  Please contact KCB at the Chamber 229-273-1669 if you need supplies, and we will try to help. We have implemented a new program where we recognize a clean business each month.

We look forward to seeing your Crisp clean businesses and cleaning up the community with you!

Monica Simmons, Cordele-Crisp Chamber of Commerce, President

Douglas Dean, Cordele-Crisp Chamber of Commerce, Executive Director

Catherine Harrell, Keep Crisp Beautiful, Executive Director

Chip Wells, Keep Crisp Beautiful, Chairman