Volunteer litter program cleans up city
Litter bugs have a new enemy in Richland, Miss., where the “Friday Frenzy” program has nearly all residents pitching in to pick up trash. Because the city of 5,000 is located on Highway 49 South, litter from passing motorists has been a problem. Last year, the city started the Friday program urging city employees and officials, local business owners, civic groups and youth to hit the streets and pick up litter. Volunteers also patrol city parks.
The program also includes a community service aspect whereby non-felony offenders can work off their fines by picking up trash or weeding city flower beds. Students held in detention at local schools also can participate in the program for detention credit. Friday Frenzy’s success inspired local leaders to start a city beautification program to allow for better landscaping and regular maintenance. To fund the program, Richland applied for and received a grant from the Mississippi Forestry Commission and hired two additional employees to maintain grounds and handle seasonal landscaping. Last March, with the help of 40 local volunteers, city employees planted 250 crape myrtles and installed new street signs.
“It has been said that to be successful you must look successful,” says Mayor Shirley Hall. “Not only do we look good to outsiders, but we have now raised our image in the eyes of our citizens.”