MIDLAND, Texas — Trash is something that is supposed to go into the garbage. But more often then not here in the Permian Basin, litter ends up on the sides of the roads.
Keep Midland Beautiful is trying to combat the problem by paying non-profit groups to clean up the community.
“We love our Trash 4 Cash program and the groups that go out and take advantage of it," said Doreen Womack, the Executive Director for Keep Midland Beautiful. "It's a program where non-profits like churches, schools, soccer teams, basketball teams, football teams, take advantage of being able to raise funds for their own mission.”
Tax exempt groups can make up to $500 every cleanup, six times a year.
"When you do the math they can make up to $3,000 a year," Womack said.
"We invite all nonprofits to participate”
After groups sign up, Keep Midland Beautiful provides everything for the cleanup operation.
“We give you everything you need from the vests, gloves, trash bags and then you go out and clean up an area," Womack said.
A week later, groups get a check for their hard work. But KMB says they get more than money out of it.
“Having cleaned up an area that is littered gives a lot of satisfaction and it also is a real team building program," Womack said. "Once you get out there with your team, you have lots of fun talking about the things that you might find."
With litter becoming a harder thing to stay on top of in the Basin, the Trash 4 Cash program is making a huge difference in Midland.
“Last year in Midland $30,000 was paid out in Trash 4 Cash and that is a lot of groups going out and cleaning up," Womack said. "But sadly we really need that help in our community.”
Keep Midland Beautiful says they are in need of more groups to help with the litter problem. For details on how to sign your group click here.
Keep Odessa Beautiful has the same mission to pick up trash in the community, but do not offer a Trash Cash program because they are not an entirely non-profit group.