Atmore leaders target littering

Published 12:39 am Friday, April 14, 2006

By By Adam Prestridge
Atmore residents may not realize it, but their town is judged by its appearance.
With roadways lined with trash ranging from empty beer bottles to aluminum cans and discarded fast food bags to old tires the friendly city doesn't seem as attractive to prospective businesses that may be interested in opening shop in Atmore.
The Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce's Leadership Atmore Class of 2006 has set out on a mission to cleanup the town with its class project: Atmore's Picking Up.
"Leadership Atmore is excited to head up this project," Leadership president Chad Bartz said. "We really believe it will make a difference. We want to help attract businesses to our community. We know that cleanliness is a criteria and something businesses evaluate. We want to help instill pride in our community, we want Atmore to be the best."
The cleanup campaign compliments the Chamber's recent efforts to replant Atmore. Chamber director Emilie Mims believes the project will be an excellent way to continue awareness in community pride.
"The Atmore Chamber of Commerce is extremely pleased that the Leadership Atmore Class of 2006 has targeted the litter problem in our community for their class project," Mims said. "We encourage everyone in the community to join in on this day, but more important to help spread the word that 'Atmore's Picking Up'."
The project's focus is simple; clean up Atmore for the betterment of the community. But cleaning up the town will take more than just the efforts of Leadership Atmore's 19-member class.
"We would appreciate the support of the residents and businesses in town," Bartz said. "The businesses and individuals in Atmore make the difference. If we don't do it as a community, then we may not accomplish what we're trying to accomplish."
The Leadership Class is encouraging area residents and businesses to organize teams to participate in the Atmore's Picking Up campaign, which will kick off at 8:30 a.m. on April 29 at city hall. Cleanup teams are asked to be there at 8 a.m. for staging.
"We will be focusing on roadside cleanup, but also working with the city in conjunction with the Chamber to provide dumpsters in the adjacent lot across the street from city hall for residents to take solid waste that day," Leadership class member and spokesperson Dale Johnson said. "We've got commitments from businesses to accept used motor oil and old automotive batteries in conjunction with the program. We're trying to adopt an awareness program to be taken to children in the local schools and to be used in the media to create an awareness program."
Residents are also encouraged to cleanup around their homes and neighborhoods on April 29. The trash stations setup across from city hall can be used for deposal.
"This is an effort on their part to make this a long, ongoing program," Mayor Howard Shell said. "It's going to be one that will be modified to fit the needs as time moves on to see what we can do to reach all phases of the community out into the county."
Leadership class members met with Shell last Thursday to discuss their plan of action and received full support from him and the city.
"One thing we touched on is how much the town and the county is judged on by its appearance," Shell said. "We all know that when you drive through an area, you instinctively know when you get back if it was a nice, neat little town or if it was one that was not very well kept up. It's got to start somewhere and I commend the Leadership Atmore group for undertaking this project. I just do not want to see it stop. I want to see it grow and get bigger. We'll do whatever it takes to see if we can't instill pride in people to pick up."
The cleanup day will conclude between 11:30 a.m. and noon on April 29 with a lunch for volunteers at city hall.
If you would like to organize a group for the cleanup day or would like to learn more about the event, contact Shelly at the Chamber at 368-3305.

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