Midland Clean Up Event Draws Hundreds To Participate

Josh Navarro
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND- Big volunteer efforts took place in Midland on Saturday. Hundreds of took to the streets, highways and parks for one ultimate goal, to pick up trash. It was part of Keep Midland Beautiful's Annual event.

About 2,100 volunteers had more than 66 square miles of Midland to pick up trash. They were armed with bags, gloves and trash grabbers.

"It's always good to get trash picked up and keep an area clean," volunteer, Kelly Gayneaus, said.

You might have seen them all over town, around streets and off highways. One group was cleaning up the area off Loop 250 in North Midland. The non-profit organization says they want to educate and engage people to clean up their own space and keep it clean.

"It shouldn't be just a small amount of the community that picks up all of the trash. All of the community should want to have pride in Midland, it's where we live. It's the place that we live," KMB's Executive Director, Doreen Womack, said.

According to Keeping America Beautiful, 38% of roadway litter comes from tobacco products, like cigarette butts, 22% of it is paper and 19% of litter on roadways is plastic. KMB says about 85% of littering is the result of individual attitudes and changing individual behavior is key to preventing litter.

"Lead by example, maybe if we had enough people see other people trying to take care of an area, some may change their mind and try to help out and prevent the trash from getting there in the first place," Gayneaus said.

Last year volunteers picked up over 100 tons of trash and debris. They expect the same to happen this year.

Keep Midland Beautiful says they receive a portion of the City's litter embankment fee, however, they say most of their funding comes from private sponsorships, memberships and foundations that awards them grants.