Participants and city crews working during last weekend’s Trash Off collected almost 40 tons of debris.
The annual effort is Lawton’s contribution to Earth Day and to the local environment in general, with volunteers working all morning to clean up trash in high profile areas such as parks and roadway shoulders, while volunteers at Trash Off headquarters collect bulk debris dropped off by residents.
This year, 226 volunteers worked with the City of Lawton to pick up trash in 10 parks and six roadside locations. In addition, bins set up at Trash Off headquarters in the parking lot of McMahon Memorial Auditorium allowed residents to drop off debris ranging from tree debris to paint and tires. Organizers said the idea is to give residents a chance to dispose of any material that they cannot place in their polycarts, while also coordinating volunteers to remove trash from parks and arterial easements.
While the ultimate goal is a cleaner community, Lawton’s neighborhood services division (which coordinates the effort) will submit a final report to Keep Oklahoma Beautiful to participate in that entity’s annual Great American Cleanup. The campaign encourages communities to hold cleanup campaigns between March 1 and May 31, then submit tabulated results to Keep Oklahoma Beautiful and the Oklahoma Department of Transportation for recognition in multiple categories during the Environmental Excellence Celebration in November. Finalists are expected to be announced in September, city officials said.