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Church members pick up trash

If what you see on the side of the road tends to make you frown, look to New Convert Baptist’s Church recent initiative to clean it up.

Assistant youth director and New Convert resident Latisha Lee couldn’t bear to look at the trash passersby had dumped on county roads throughout her area. Litter may often go unpunished, but Lee knows she doesn’t have to look at it for long. It just takes waking up early on a Saturday morning, grabbing a pick-up grappler and some trash bags and hitting the road.

Lee leads an effort put on by her church to clean the county roads in and surrounding New Convert.

Last Saturday, she and approximately 10 others took to County Road 87, where they picked up all sorts of trash, some of which shocked Lee and her colleagues.

Mostly, she said you’ll see food items and utensils drivers will toss out of their windows once they finish eating at the wheel.

Fast food boxes, cups and napkins adorn ditches and the sides of roads that are still visible to those who ride by.

Lee, a human services student at the University of Montevallo, doesn’t care for the impression it leaves on travelers about her community within Maplesville.

“I just wanted to put a stop to it,” Lee said. “It just looks a mess. I want our community to be beautiful. Instead of people keeping their trash in the car, they just throw it out of the window. I think it’s a shame.”

Lee said she’d ride down the road and notice all sorts of items people would toss to the wayside without a care as to who might clean up their mess.

As she cleaned the roads and the areas further back Saturday, she saw much worse. She found the litter of those who would dump entire bags of everyday trash in off-road areas.

Some would even spread trash across the ground without even bagging it up, creating a heap of waste diminishing the quality of the land.

“People should really be more considerate,” Lee said. “Everything they eat is just out in the middle of the road. It was awful. We couldn’t believe it. There were just these large bags of trash. There was a lot of stuff that surprised me.”

The group started at 8:30 a.m. and bagged a total of 22 bags across a mile’s worth of road on County Road 87.

All who helped were members of New Convert Baptist Church, including several youth members.

One member of the church used his pick-up truck to transport the bags to Shelby County where he properly disposed them.

They finished at approximately 3 p.m. Lee said they typically finish when everyone is finally exhausted.

Lee will lead another pick-up on March 27 when she hopes more people join the cause.

New Convert Baptist also collects canned foods and clothing and frequently donates money to the Lovelady home.

As a human services student, Lee already participates in a number of projects to serve her community.

Once she noticed the trash, she asked her church’s preacher if she could recruit other members to join in the effort, a request he happily granted. Lee made fliers and put them in nearly everyone’s mailbox in the community.

While she was humbled by the amount of people who joined her last time, she said the initiative could use more manpower. For those who did come, Lee said the spirits were high.

“Everyone who came was motivated,” she said. “Their attitudes were all positive. It was just wonderful. We could use more people to help us make it a little further.”

Some who drove by the clean up stopped and donated money to the cause. Members of the church took it upon themselves to purchase trash bags, trashcans, gloves and grapplers to pick up the trash.

The next pick-up will be held March 27 and will cover County Roads 87, 322 and 380.

Announcements are made during the church service to recruit anyone who wants to help.

New Convert is a community within Maplesville that can be found off of AL-191.