Mobile County is providing an extra incentive to groups who want to pick up litter, while also helping neighborhoods or schools in the process.
On Thursday, county commissioners announced the restarting of the “Love Your Community” anti-litter program, which encourages Mobile County residents to form teams and pick up loose trash.
The initiative began in 2018, but was suspended in March of last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Commissioner Connie Hudson said the “successful” program had as many as 60 teams in its previous two-year history. Teams can be made up of as few as one person or as many as 50 or more, she said.
“Teams select a geographic area, adopt it and create activities to pick up litter within the team framework,” Hudson said. “This was working very, very well and momentum was building until March of last year.”
The resurrection of the program also means changes. The county, through Keep Mobile Beautiful, has hired Evelyn DeAngelo as coordinator of the program and the initiative will also now allow teams to bank volunteer hours to earn grant money to go toward public, school or neighborhood projects.
The grant money is available in phases, including $500, $1,000 and $1,500, based on the amount of hours a team banks, Hudson said. The grants must pay for projects in the public right-of-way, or that benefit a community, neighborhood or school, Hudson said. The projects must be approved by DeAngelo.
The funds for the grants would be paid for with federal money distributed to oil producing Gulf Coast states through a program called the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act, or GOMESA.
“It’s a way to get people involved,” Hudson said. “It’s a way to get people motivated. It’s a win-win for the county. It’s a win-win for the government.”
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