By Mason W. Canales
Killeen Daily Herald
Residents across Texas will scour streets and highways for litter as part of Texas Trash-Off Day today.
"(Trash-Off) is a one day effort that just highlights the need to keep our Texas roadways as clean we can," said Ken Roberts, Texas Department of Transportation Waco District spokesman.
The program sends volunteers out on Texas highways and streets to collect litter. It is coordinated by TxDOT in conjunction with the Keep Texas Beautiful organizations.
Last year, more than 150 tons of trash was collected across the state, Roberts said.
Keep Killeen Beautiful will be kicking off its leg of Trash Off day at 8 a.m. at the Volunteer Services Center with a speech by the Killeen Mayor Timothy Hancock.
About 530 participants signed up to collect litter from 71 miles of roadway in Killeen and three major parks, Killeen Volunteer Services Director Wilfred Brewster said.
The volunteers are made of civic organizations, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Fort Hood units, and many other groups, Brewster said.
"There is a lot of service organization that participate and individuals, too, and they are all people who want to make a difference," Keep Killeen Beautiful Chairwoman Robin DeHart said.
The volunteers collected more than 8,460 pounds of litter last year, DeHart said.
The Killeen volunteers will be meeting back up at 11:30 a.m. at the Killeen Community Center for a cookout, where various awards will be presented for the cleanup, Brewster said.
Awards will be for most trash collected, most unusual object, most expensive objects, and youngest and oldest volunteers, Brewster said.
Residents who haven't signed up can still participate today by meeting at the Volunteer Service Center about 7:45 a.m., DeHart said.
"Just show up and we will provide them with the vest, gloves and bags to pick up trash, and we will assign them an area," DeHart said.
About 25 other groups will be working with TxDOT to clean up state highways and farm-to-market roads in Bell and Coryell counties, Roberts said.
"Every piece of paper that we pick up is one less that blows around... and all that just goes into the water ways," DeHart said. "It makes our community a better place to live, makes it more attractive for people coming into our community."
Contact Mason W. Canales at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7554. Follow him on Twitter at KDHheights.
When: 8 a.m. today
Where: Killeen Volunteer Service Center, 215 W. Ave. D, Killeen
When: 9 a.m. today
Where: Copperas Cove Public Library, 501. S. Main St., Copperas Cove