AACC set to launch second annual Clean & Green Initiative

Published 9:15 am Wednesday, March 29, 2023

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The Andalusia Area Chamber of Commerce had a successful Clean and Green Initiative last year and announced the litter competition will return for the second time beginning next month.

Initiative is defined as “an act or strategy intended to improve a situation; a fresh approach to something.” Another meaning for the word is to take the initiative or be the first to take action in a particular situation.

“The Andalusia Area Chamber of Commerce’s Clean and Green Initiative is a collaborative program alongside ALPALS, which means Alabama People Against a Littered State. This program is dedicated to making our county more beautiful by focusing on cleaning up litter on our streets, streams, campuses, and around our waterways as well as encouraging recycling efforts. We have so many travelers come through our city throughout the year, and we want to be sure to continue to showcase the beautiful community and natural resources that we have to offer here,” AACC Executive Director Laura Wells said.

This year’s Clean and Green begins Saturday, April 1, and concludes Saturday, April 22 on Earth Day. Although the competition debuted last year, Wells stated it was not the first time efforts were made to collect litter.

“Many years ago, longtime Covington County resident Janice Castleberry spearheaded a litter roundup after noticing litter alongside the roadways. She was very passionate about taking pride in our community and not littering. It then developed into a coordinated effort throughout the entire county.”

The competition rules are as follows:

  • Please use caution when cleaning around roads.
  • Please wear gloves when picking up trash.
  • Watch out for needles, snakes, etc.
  • For pick-up bags to count, you must take a photo of each collection and attach it with your form for proof of collection.
  • You must count the amount of bags you collect.
  • Only litter will count; no household trash will count.
  • You must report the number of employees (total per day) that pick up.
  • Report the name of the street you pick up.

The 2023 competition will have the same rules in place as last year but will feature the addition of electronic recycling.

“The Trash Collector of the Year competition was a huge success last year. We have decided to continue the tradition and make it a staple in our initiative. We are excited to add electronic recycling this year and will have a recycling trailer here at the Chamber from April 18-21. To see a list of accepted items, please contact us at the Chamber.”

The 2023 Clean and Green Initiative winner will be announced on AACC social media Monday, April 24. In addition to bragging rights, the winner will receive the Trash Collector of the Year trophy and a beautiful live plant.

Businesses and individuals can become sponsors by having their company name printed on Clean and Green Initiative reusable shopping bags. The deadline is Friday, April 21.

There are three separate sponsorship levels, which will determine the logo sizing on the bag. The top level, Reduce Sponsorship, costs $500. The middle level, Reuse Sponsorship, costs $250. The bottom level, Recycle Sponsorship, costs $100.

“These bags are distributed to visitors to the Chamber as well as Chamber events including July Jamz and Candyland. Sponsors will also receive bags they can distribute as well,” she said.

Wells added that the Chamber encourages all businesses, organizations, and individuals to join in on the competition.

“Last year’s winner Andalusia Manor commented on what a great team-building experience it was amongst their coworkers. They also noted how they became acutely aware of litter and how they found a new drive to keep it picked up, especially in front of the manor.”

To get a form and bags email Laura Wells at laura@andalusiachamber.com or Maggie Holmes at maggie@andalusiachamber.com.

The Andalusia Area Chamber of Commerce is located at 700 River Falls Street and is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information call the Chamber at 334-222-2030.

“We are so thankful we have a supportive leadership here in our city and county who share our same goals and vision to keep Covington County clean,” Wells said.