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Volunteers beautify Beaumont in Trash-Off
BEAUMONT - by Lauren Huet
About one-thousand volunteers picked-up trash throughout the city of Beaumont today. Saturday is the Don't Mess With Texas Trash-Off, and Texans across the state woke up early to make Texas beautiful.
William Stuberfield picked up trash with his youth group from Our Mother of Mercy Catholic Church. "Don't sit around at home and watch TV all day, we can give back to the community and help other people with their struggles," said Stuberfield.
Stuberfield and his youth group collected bags and bags of trash. "Glass, plastic, all kinds of things. We've seen pillows," said Stuberfield.
Groups of people in green t-shirts picked up trash across the city. The coach of the Beaumont Blue Devils basketball team brought them out to help clean-up. He says he wants to teach his team to serve the community.
"When there's trash all around and everything like that, it tends to bring the city morale down," said Coach Kody Bluford. "If they see people out here cleaning up and everything like that, then hopefully it will influence other people to do the same and keep the city clean."
The Blue Devils basketball team says, the city needed it. "It was bad, really bad!" teammates said.
The Communications Manager for the City of Beaumont, Danielle Underferth, says she's thankful for all the volunteers.
"We're so happy that they recognize that litter is a problem and that they can make an impact," said Underferth. "It's bad for business, it's bad for tourism, it's bad for property values, and no one wants to look at it."
Volunteers dropped trash at five locations in the city. The athletic complex on Langham Road, Charlton-Pollard Park, Klein Park, Sprott Park, and the Sterling Pruitt Activity Center. Last year, Beaumont volunteers collected about 6 tons of trash throughout the city. In 2013, volunteers state-wide collected 6 million pounds of trash.
"It's tons and tons of trash," said Mayor Becky Ames. "That's a shame that we have that much to pick up, but [the clean-up] affects our city, just look around, how nice it looks just in this park."
Today, volunteers picked up 9,220 pounds of trash in Beaumont, which is 4.2 tons. Everyone agrees, trash-free is beautiful.
"Ya, keep Texas clean, don't litter," said Stuberfield.
"We like to keep our world tidy, so that's why we got a lot of trash," said Saige King, a volunteer.
Not only did volunteers help beautiful Texas today, city officials say when you pick up trash, you help save taxpayer money. Last year the Texas Department of Transportation spent 37 million in taxpayer dollars to pick-up trash along state maintained highways.