Community-wide cleanup draws more than 1,000 volunteers
Apr 15, 2012 (Odessa American - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
ODESSA, Texas -- Despite gusty conditions, solutions to rid trash from Odessa are not gone with the wind.
Saturday's efforts from volunteers with Keep Odessa Beautiful and Clean Up West Odessa to pick up paper, plastic bags and plastic bottles were met with gusts of up to 40 miles per hour.
"The wind didn't want to participate today," Clean Up West Odessa volunteer C.C. Serrato said. "It kept the trash flying everywhere as soon as people would try to get a hold of it."
Clean Up West Odessa had over 100 volunteers, Serrato said, who were cleaning four areas around West Odessa.
Beverly Ferguson, co-chair of Clean Up West Odessa, said groups started near the intersection of University Boulevard and F.M. 1936. Volunteers met back at the restaurant El Jefe, 2901 N F.M. 1936, at noon for food and music.
"I feel really good about this. We're excited that we got the participation we did," Ferguson said.
Around four miles east on University Boulevard, Keep Odessa Beautiful had set up camp in the Odessa College Sports Center parking lot.
Lennerd Byrd, chairman of the KOB board, said there were more than 1,000 registered to pick up trash, but that the exact number of volunteers that appeared Saturday was unknown because some groups registered to pick up trash before the event.
"We try to get involved with many organizations. Before our clean up today, Neighborhood Development Services gave us some locations they thought needed some cleaning. NDS is also picking up the trash we pick up at certain sites," Byrd said.
KOB's efforts are part of Don't Mess With Texas' Trash-Off, which is a partnership between Keep Texas Beautiful and the Texas Department of Transportation.
University of Texas of the Permian Basin Senior Elsa Marie Zuniga and 18-year-old Odessa High School Senior Matt Lindsey were volunteering with Keep Odessa Beautiful near the intersection of 18th Street and Jackson Avenue.
"I was thinking, 'How could we let this place get to such a state?' " Zuniga said, referring to the trash. "There were a lot of shreds of plastic stuck in the dirt, all torn apart from the wind, I guess."
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