On July 11, around 50 people gathered in Gainesville to take out the trash.
For several hours under the hot sun, people of all ages and backgrounds picked up approximately 850 pounds of litter along 2 miles of Queen City Parkway, Dorsey Street and Pearl Nix Parkway.
The event marked the second year Latinos Conservative Organization and Keep Hall Beautiful have teamed up to host the city cleanup.
Art Gallegos Jr., Latinos Conservative Organization president, said many volunteers stepped up to the plate including several Gainesville Police officers, Gainesville City Councilman George Wangemann, Hall County Commissioner Jeff Stowe and Shanda Sexton, executive director of Keep Hall Beautiful.
"I hope that people can see even in this environment, in a pandemic, we can still do something positive for our community and really make an impact,” Gallegos said. “It was something good that united us.”
While picking up trash in Gainesville, Sexton said people have found a range of discarded objects like jewelry, mattresses and bowling balls. She said the No. 1 type of litter gathered during citywide cleanups, including the one on Saturday, are water bottles.
Instead of throwing away the nearly 1,000 pounds of trash, Sexton said people took the time to sort out any recyclable cans and plastic. All non-recyclable items were taken to the Hall County Landfill.
Sexton said the purpose of the event was not only to clean up the area but to educate people into becoming better citizens.
“It brings out the good in people,” she said. “It makes you want to keep it that way, and it does bring a sense of ownership. It’s all about being good stewards to your community.”
The next cleanup is set for October.