From the standpoint of the wonderful volunteers of the Keep Oconee County Clean and Beautiful Commission, Saturday's Great Oconee Cleanup Event was a huge success.
Total numbers have not been tallied as of Sunday morning as I write this article, but Executive Director Angela Helwig estimates well over 100 people showed up to help.
Adopt-A-Mile groups, Boy Scouts, and teams of friends selected areas to pick up litter, and the Rivers Alive Group held a clean up at the Apalachee River US Highway 78 location.
All the volunteers picked up bags and bags of roadside, trail and creek-side litter. They returned the bags to the library for weighing and sorting of recyclables.
By 2 p.m. the dumpsters generously provided by Oconee Waste Transport were packed with trash and recyclables.
That's the good news.
The bad news is, even with that great turn out, even with Sheriff's Scott Berry's involvement of inmates on highway pick ups this week, there is still a lot of trash on Oconee roadsides.
However, the Great Oconee Clean Up goes through the month of April and the dumpsters and weight scale will remain at the library until April 30. YOU CAN STILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
The ugly? Well...there you have it. Lots of roadside litter makes us all look bad, and continues to cost Oconee Taxpayers upwards of $30,000 a year.
Just think what else we could do with that money if we didn't have to spend it controlling litter.
But that's a subject for another article.
Most of the week coming up, the weather will be windy but otherwise pleasant, so you can still participate and help keep the litter from blowing into the waterways.
If you would like to organize a roadside litter pick up, contact Angela Helwig at Keep Oconee County Clean and Beautiful Commission for a few easy instructions and to pick up bags, vests, roadside signs, and pick up sticks to make your effort easier and safe. And call or email me! I will come help if I can!
Angela can be reached from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 706-769-5120 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to all the people who showed up and gave us all a lesson in unselfish volunteering, and set a good example for the youth of Oconee County.