Volunteers partner with Keep BR Beautiful to pick up litter

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Unless you're looking really closely, it would be hard to spot pieces of trash along Dalrymple Drive or floating in the lake nearby, but make no mistake volunteers said it's there.

"It's just randomness that blows away and people forget about it," said volunteer Tommy Blount. "A lot of plastic bags. Tons and tons of soggy, nasty plastic bags."

Volunteer Rebecca Blazek said seeing the trash along the busy street is frustrating.

"I've been walking by for months and months," Blazek said. "It's been bothering me, a lot."

Their eagerness to help the community led them to partner with Keep Baton Rouge Beautiful to clean up the city Saturday morning.

The Executive Director of Keep Baton Rouge Beautiful, Gwen Emick said in about 2 hours, countless bags were stuffed with litter. "They know someone is going to clean up behind them and then they think that part of it is going to disintegrate on its own."

Everything from plastic wrappers to pieces of rubber and cigarette butts was picked up.

"They do not disintegrate. They last anywhere from 5-15 years if they're not picked up. They're very harmful to the environment," Emick said. She said cigarette butts are the number one item picked up during clean-ups.

The leader of the anti-litter organization said sometimes despite their efforts to clean, they can't do it alone.

"We clean up one week and we can go back the next week and it's back," Emick explained. "People don't take pride in their neighborhood."

Now, these volunteers are asking the community to help them take pride in the city.

"If you're out walking, pick it up. Don't walk over it, pick it up," said Emick. "One person can make a difference."

"If you bring it in, bring it out and make sure you throw everything in a receptacle," Blount said.

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