Volunteers take part in Don’t Mess With Texas Trash-off
By LYNETTE SOWELL
Cities around Texas, including Copperas Cove, received some TLC during Saturday’s statewide Don’t Mess With Texas Trash-Off.
A total of 84 volunteers gathered at the Copperas Cove Public Library parking lot to receive instructions, trash bags and pickers so they could collect littler in specific areas of Copperas Cove.
Silvia Rhoads, the city’s recycling director and executive director of Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful, had a photo display posted of five areas in Copperas Cove which were particularly littered.
Those areas included a grassy section along Business 190 across from Walmart, the grassy hills behind H-E-B and Gold’s Gym, the field behind Days Inn, as well as an area near Ogletree Pass.
Volunteers were also given onion bags to collect recyclable items like plastic bottles before they divided into collection teams and went their separate ways.
This was KCCB’s second-highest turnout for the event in its 11 years, Rhoads said.
Members of the Copperas Cove High School National Honor Society as well as 14 Roteract Club members from Central Texas College and Texas A&M University – Central Texas volunteered.
Darrius Armstead, service project coordinator for the Roteract Club, said this event is just one of the many the club participates in throughout the local area. Roteract is the college aspect of Rotary Clubs International.
“It makes you feel good to know you’re helping make a difference in the local community,” Armstead said.
Overall, the volunteers collected 580 pounds of trash and debris, along with eight full bags of recyclable items and five tires.
“It was truly heartwarming to so many volunteers out on Saturday to clean up litter on our roadways. We sincerely appreciate each and every one of the 84 volunteers who came out to make such a difference in our community,” Rhoads said. “It really made light work of a daunting task. We were very ambitious this year in selecting five roadways but thanks to all those dedicated volunteers, we were able to accomplish our goal. Thank you, volunteers!”
After Rhoads and KCCB board president Adam Wolf loaded the bags of trash onto a truck, the volunteers gathered at Heritage Park for a free hotdog lunch cooked by KCCB board member Marc Payne and by Rhoads’ husband, Brian. Unfortunately, one of the charcoal grills which KCCB had installed at the park last year had been ripped from its base and thrown in the nearby creek, so Rhoads had to pull the grill from the creek and the group prepared hotdogs using one of the other grills donated to the park.
Members of the Copperas Cove Lions Club also participated in the Don’t Mess With Texas Trash-Off on Saturday. They collected litter and other debris on the Highway 190 south bypass.
Among the items collected that was of special concern were jugs of used cooking oil placed in boxes, which had been placed on the side of the road.
Up next for KCCB is the citywide spring cleanup on Saturday, April 22, which goes from __ a.m. until __ p.m. at the city’s Solid Waste Department.
During the spring cleanup, residents can dispose of junk and bulky items for free. Residents and businesses, not including contractors may also household trash and junk, brush and yard waste in brown leaf bags for disposal at no charge. Recycling items are also welcome, to include scrap metal, boxes, aluminum cans, newspaper and inserts, steel cans, and plastics #1-#7, but no plastic grocery bags. Proof of residency is required and city utility customers are limited to two trips. For the spring cleanup, residents may dispose of five tires for free, something which usually costs $3 apiece for tire disposal.
KCCB also welcomes volunteers for its next litter cleanup on Saturday, May 13, which will be the group’s 2nd waterway cleanup of 2017. This cleanup will be held from 9-11 a.m. Those interested should assemble at the Copperas Cove Public Library for that event.
For more information, about any of these events, contact Silvia Rhoads at (254) 547-4242.