MIDLAND,Texas (ABC Big 2 / FOX 24) – It’s a big problem in Midland. You’ve probably seen it at local parks and along the roads: trash. An eyesore that almost never seems to end. But there is an initiative to help fix this problem in the city.
It’s called the Don’t Mess with Texas Trash -Off and this spring Keep Midland Beautiful has been hosting the signature event for the Great American Clean-up. But it’s more than just picking up trash. It’s about the community working together that makes this initiative worthwhile.
Many people wouldn’t think of spending their Saturday morning cleaning up trash but this group of volunteers cleaning up Sparks Park are happy to help clean up their city.
“You don’t really notice it until you have to pick it up,” said Jeremiah Pitts. ” I go to school right there and like I’ve seen but I have never paid attention to it because I just assumed someone was going to pick it up eventually.”
Volunteers like Destiny Frebenberg who has lived in Midland all her life said seeing so much trash is upsetting.
“For a few years now I have actually been telling my family that I want ot get our and help pick up trash because I don’t really see why people throw their trash it just looks ridiculous to me,” Frebenberg said.
Keep Midland Beautiful Executive Director, Doreen Womack said litter has always been a problem here in the basin. This is why every year they launch the Don’t Mess with Texas Trash-Off.
“You know I think in West Texas we have had this problem for many many years,” Womack said. “Sometimes it’s worse than others, especially this year it seems our spring winds have been very very high and they move around a lot of trash.”
The organization is making sure that volunteers are prepared for their clean up.
“We’ll get you your bags and gloves and vests if you need them we also have some snacks for you because we want to tell you how much we appreciate the fact that you are going out and cleaning up an area,” Womack said.
Keep Midland Beautiful has all of its supplies already collected for its volunteers. Since starting in this spring, 1,900 people have registered to help clean up the city and so far 6.3 tons of trash has been collected. And volunteers are never turned away.
“Well it’s a good opportunity for the court to work with defenders,” said Lauren Bezold, Community Service Coordinator for the Midland Municipal Court. “It’s pretty rare opportunity, it’s some way we can all connect and all do something really valuable for the community and let people know that the municipal court does care about our community a lot.”
But regardless of how many people help, everyone who’s come out to clean up Midland said they plan to it again soon.
“We’re making new friends so we’re just out here just making new friends making the best it that’s what it’s about,” said Zack Larkin.
” It makes me feel good, it makes me feel happy and I don’t know appreciated I guess.” Frebenberg
The Don’t Mess with Texas Trash Off runs until May 31st, but Keep Midland Beautiful says you can sign up to clean up Midland year round.