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Join neighbors to clean up city

Litter may be one of the few subjects on which we all can agree, unless someone wants to step forward and speak in defense of trash that can spoil our view of spring wildflowers, cost a lot of taxpayer dollars and clog the shorelines of area waterways.

We don’t like litter and most of us have been fighting the stuff for years; yet, in spite of our best efforts, new crops keep popping up all around us.

One of the byproducts of a disposable society may be a seemingly endless supply of paper and plastic throwaway items, but we would hope that responsible adults would recycle or at the very least toss their debris into a trash bin and teach their children to do likewise.

Prevention, obviously, is the best way to deal with our litter problem, and improved education and public awareness campaigns have helped. Generations raised under the watchful eyes of parents who frowned on tossing trash out a car window are more likely to corral cups and other refuse to keep them from being scattered in the breeze.

Unfortunately, there is only one way to deal with litter that has already been thoughtlessly cast aside, blown from the back of speeding vehicles or otherwise inflicted on society — someone has to pick it up.

Volunteers often provide the time and energy to get this job done, and a group of these stalwart individuals — Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, City Council representatives, school classmates and members of civic groups, fraternities and sororities among them — will be hard at work on Saturday morning sprucing up Denton.

Beginning at 9 a.m., volunteers will begin cleaning assigned locations citywide as part of the Great American Cleanup orchestrated by Keep Denton Beautiful as part of an effort championed by Keep Texas Beautiful and Keep America Beautiful.

This is the largest volunteer event hosted by Keep Denton Beautiful, and volunteer groups of all ages participate. In the last 23 years, local volunteers at the Great American Cleanup have removed an estimated two million pounds of litter from the streets, waterways and neighborhoods of Denton, according to information provided by the nonprofit organization.

Pre-registration was encouraged, but anyone who has not already signed up can still take part by being at the Denton Civic Center, 321 E. McKinney St., at 9 a.m. Saturday to be assigned a site and get supplies. For more information, visit

Volunteers will clean up their sites from 9 to 11 a.m., and are then invited to attend a volunteer party and environmental fair — also at the Civic Center — with free lunch, live music, children’s activities, door prizes and more.

In conjunction with the Great American Cleanup, the Denton Solid Waste and Recycling Department will have a free disposal event for Denton residents who provide proof of residency. Hours will be 7 a.m. to noon at the landfill, 1527 S. Mayhill Road.

It’s been a long, tough winter, and taking part in Denton’s Great American Cleanup effort should be the perfect way to shake off the doldrums and welcome spring.

We encourage you to join your neighbors and volunteer on Saturday.

Those spring wildflowers we mentioned will soon be sprouting, so we need to get rid of any litter that could obscure our view.