Shreveport agency recruits nearly 1,200 volunteers for litter removal

Apr 11, 2014

Scores of volunteers will take to the streets and waterways Saturday to pick up litter as part of the Great American Cleanup.

Credit Shreveport Green

In Louisiana, 15 chapters of Keep Louisiana Beautiful have organized clean-up efforts. Shreveport Green executive director Donna Curtis says her organization has rallied nearly 1,200 volunteers from dozens of organizations to help the beautification cause, her largest ever one-day volunteer recruitment.

Over the past 24 years of Shreveport Green’s existence, according to Curtis, this one day has made a measurable difference.

“We’ve reduced litter, by count, about 80 percent. Now, we may need to set up a new baseline. But, we know every year we are doing this litter index, we’re a little bit lower. We’re not making a big change,” Curtis said.

The litter that gets chucked from car windows plagues Shreveport’s neighborhoods and major thoroughfares, according to Curtis. She also points to careless homeowners who improperly set out garbage containers that ultimately tip over and spew trash down the street. Organized clean-ups and education efforts have helped over the years. But now, Curtis hopes stricter solid waste ordinances and state laws will improve Shreveport streetscapes.

“It needs to become part of our culture. We have been very  loose in what we accept. The city resources have been stretched enormously through the years to keep it clean. We have over-accommodated the citizens,” Curtis said.

Elected officials from Shreveport-Bossier and state lawmakers will hold a press conference at 10 a.m. Friday at RiverView Park in downtown Shreveport to rally the cause and support volunteer efforts.

The Keep America Beautiful Great American Cleanup involves 4 million volunteers nationwide who will work together tomorrow to beautify their communities.