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Highland Home local partners with People Against a Littered State, begins road clean-up effort

Raymond McGough of Highland Home was tired of seeing beer bottles and fast food wrappers tossed carelessly out of car windows and littering the roadways of his community- so he decided to make a change.

PALS- People Against a Littered State- is an organization devoted to uniting communities against a single, often-ignored issue- trash on the side of roads.

As a coordinator for PALS, McGough brought together a contingent of around 20 adults and children- including members of Randal Beasley’s youth group from Union Baptist- to roam County Road 50 in Honoraville, near Union Baptist Church, and clean up every piece of refuse in sight.

McGough said his group made it “4 miles, around 90 bags of trash,” on their first day- and are just getting started.

“We want to go beyond just [the Honoraville/Highland Home] area,” said McGough, “and eventually make it Crenshaw County wide. But we are taking it one step at a time.” He also mentioned a desire to expand to Butler County, and partner with anti-litter groups there.

He stressed the value of functioning under PALS, as it provides a way to unite groups and individuals in the community for a common cause.

In addition to the road clean ups, McGough mentioned other ways PALS will be involved in Crenshaw County.

On an upcoming date in the spring, for example, PALS representative Jamie Mitchell will lead a presentation on litter prevention in Highland Home School classrooms.

April 26 is designated as the peak of the “Don’t Drop It on Alabama” campaign, in which PALS along with other anti-littering groups will coordinate and provide supplies for large clean-up efforts throughout the state.

PALS reports that an estimated 368 tons of litter was removed from 61 counties in spring 2016.

McGough said his group chose to leave the trash bags along County Road 50 for several days before disposing of them to help raise awareness about the effort, and show people the difference a united community can make.

Besides the aesthetic issues, littering is a crime in Alabama and carries a fine of $250 for a first-time offense, and $500 subsequently.

McGough pointed out other little-known issues that stem from litter, such as glass bottles damaging state-owned machinery used to clean the ditches.

The group also found 3 “dead deer… thrown out by hunters.”

Groups or individuals interested in getting involved with McGough’s effort, or starting their own, can visit the PALS website or Facebook page for clean-up dates, instructions on how to become a local coordinator, and further information.

PALS also partners with the Alabama Department of Transportation for various programs, including the well-known “Adopt a Mile”.