By ANGYE MORRISON
There’s a lot going on at Keep Statesboro-Bulloch Beautiful besides just helping people understand what it means to not litter.
Formerly known as Keep Bulloch Beautiful, the organization disbanded sometime around 2010, but the city of Statesboro decided to bring it back and make it a city-county joint effort in 2017. KSBB Coordinator Amanda Clements joined the organization as a part-time employee in 2019, and she’s now full-time.
“We’re trying to get it cranked back up and get more programs going because we want to see more change happen when it comes to littering, which is one of our biggest issues here in Statesboro,” Clements said. She says they are also looking for ways to be more innovative on recycling and educating the public.
One of the latest developments is a new website for KSBB, set to launch Sept. 1. The organization has never had a website and Clements, who is designing the site, says it’s something that was desperately needed.
“There hasn’t been a central location for our information,” Clements said, adding that they do have Facebook and Instagram pages. “It’s a great way to communicate with people, but we needed a central hub for all of our info where people can read about how we started and our affiliations, and volunteers can fill out forms. It’s just a really great place to have all of our information in one spot.”
The website will include all things KSBB: the organization’s history, and information about events and educational programs, as well as general information.
Clements says that KSBB is somewhat stymied in what they can do currently due to the situation with COVID-19, but they hope to have community-wide fall and spring cleanups. They will also sponsor the annual “Bring One In for the Chipper” event in late December, during which local residents can bring in their Christmas trees after the holiday. One of KSBB’s biggest events each year, Bring One In for the Chipper is a partnership with the county in which the trees are chipped up into mulch, and local residents can pick up the mulch for their own use.
The Chipper event has been a staple locally for about 25 years, and a statewide program for about 30 years, Clements added.
Clements is developing an e-waste event, and hopes to schedule it for somewhere around National Recycling Day on Nov. 15. E-waste includes items like computer equipment, cell phones, batteries and chargers.
“I think it will be very beneficial,” she said. “We already have people asking for it. E-waste is really not good for the landfill, so to keep it out as much as possible, because there are a lot of chemicals that can leak into our water basin and other issues. It has a big effect on our health, so to be able to keep all that out, I would love to be able to do something in that area.”
A social media contest is also on tap, and Clements is working to get local businesses and residents involved.
“People can take a picture of their curb appeal or garden or house plant, and post it to social media, tag Keep Statesboro-Bulloch Beautiful and then they are entered to win,” she said. “We are looking for businesses to donate prizes. In a time when we can’t have a lot of interaction face to face, I would love to be able to start that. I hope it will be up and running next month.”
Clements says it is crucial to teach children about littering and recycling, as well as the basics about the environment.
“A lot of kids may not fully understand that, and for us to be able to go into summer camps would be great. That was one of my goals for 2020, but it kind of got pushed back,” she said. “I would love to be able to grow our education program.”
Kids aren’t the only ones in need of education when it comes to littering. Clements says littering is a big problem in Bulloch County.
“Litter is a huge issue that I’m constantly seeing and it hurts my heart when I drive down the road and see it everywhere. That’s another goal, to be able to create awareness around littering and why it hurts our environment and our water supply,” she said.
Teaching people to pick up after themselves is a huge goal that Clements says has to be met.
“Do the community a service by picking up trash if you see it. Do the community a service. It’s as simple as that,” she said.
She also says that increasing the options for recycling in the county also has to happen.
“I wish we had more options so that we could have people recycle. People do care about that and they want to recycle. They want to do the right thing. I’m trying to find other ways that we can be innovative with our recycling,” she said. “I just want to see Statesboro and Bulloch cleaner. I know it’s a broad goal, but it’s also a very important goal.”
For more information about Keep Statesboro-Bulloch Beautiful and their programs, or to volunteer, go online after Sept. 1 at www.keepstatesborobullochbeautiful.org, or call 912-212-2321.