Keep Midland Beautiful plans to alleviate Basin trash problem

Keep Midland Beautiful plans to alleviate Basin trash problem

MIDLAND, TX (KWES) - You've probably seen the sign, "Don't Mess With Texas" while driving. It's the popular slogan to keep litter off Texas roads.

Every year, it's estimated that around $36-40 million is spent by the Texas Department of Transportation to keep Texas roadways clean.

"A lot of people litter," said Executive Director Amanda Byrom with Keep Midland Beautiful. "Part of the waste cycle is you taking responsibility for your waste."

But as easy as it is to throw garbage anywhere, it's still a dirty habit a lot of us do.

"Really, if people were to pick up a few pieces of trash a day, we wouldn't have a big problem," said Byrom. "It's also a detriment to the environment but also the wildlife that live in that environment so when people go fishing and leave fishing hooks and wires. The issue is you're creating problems in that ecosystem."

Texas doesn't joke when it comes to littering. Trash that's less or equal to five pounds can leave you with a fine of $500. Repeat offenders can even face a fine up to $2,000 and 180 days in jail.

Byrom said Texans has a lot of work to do, but the problem is getting better in the Basin.

"Locally we're about on par with that," she said. "34% of the waste stream is going towards recycling."

That's why Keep Midland Beautiful is doing some spring cleaning for their annual Great American Clean-up. The community gets together in groups to pick up waste. Last year, 9,000 volunteers picked up 213 tons of trash.

"We do have a problem, it's gotten better," said Byrom. "We've got more volunteers out picking up trash, they're saying the trash they're picking up is smaller.  It's really a good opportunity to get out, get some exercise, get some fresh air, and do something positive for your community."

The group is still looking for volunteers. They start on April 1. To register, go to their website here.

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