Group awarded for clean-up efforts

Published 8:15 pm Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Keep Decatur County Beautiful, a partnership between local government and citizens, received a national award recognizing its work to pick up and prevent litter.

The local group’s qualification for the President’s Circle Award was announced during Keep America Beautiful’s 55th annual National Conference in Washington, D.C.

The award recognizes efforts made by local affiliates of the national non-profit organization to reduce litter, minimize waste, and beautify and improve their local communities.

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In qualifying for a President’s Circle Award, Keep Decatur County Beautiful met Keep America Beautiful’s standards of excellence by conducting an annual Litter Index, calculating the cost vs. benefit ratio of its work and by engaging volunteers to take greater responsibility for their community’s environment.

The Keep America Beautiful Litter Index is a tool used by KAB affiliates to measure litter from year to year, identify “hot spots,” and track their progress in remedying the problem. A community’s ranking, with one specifying “no litter present” to four specifying “extremely littered,” is calculated each year through drive-by examinations of specific areas. The index provides an indication of the success of each community’s anti-littering education and other anti-littering programs. On the most recent index taken in Summer 2008, Keep Decatur County Beautiful rated a 1.66.

“I think our rating shows people are becoming more aware of the problem of littering,” said Suzanne Brandt, executive director of Keep Decatur County Beautiful. “I hope to get community leaders to come together and brainstorm about how we can further make a difference.”

About Keep Decatur County Beautiful

Since beginning operation as a not-for-profit affiliate of Keep America Beautiful in December of 1994, Keep Decatur County Beautiful has helped pull thousands of tons of litter from local waterways and roadsides. Their volunteers have been recognized with awards at the state level for litter prevention efforts. A number of volunteers of all ages also take part in annual cleanups of waterways, roads, parks and cemeteries.

KDCB has worked with the Decatur County Commissioners to establish environmental ordinances for our county. Grants developed by KDCB helped start the Decatur Seminole Service Center Recycling program in 2000. Last year, a State of Georgia grant provided KDCB with a portable recycling trailer, which can be used at large community events. KDCB runs five portable recycling trailers located in Attapulgus, Brinson, Climax, Faceville and the Bainbridge Wal-Mart.

Information regarding KDCB’s programs can be found on the Decatur County Commissioners’ Web site,