Lowndes Co. to enhance litter program after defunding local organization

Updated: Oct. 8, 2020 at 5:48 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - The South Georgia organization, Keep Lowndes-Valdosta Beautiful (KLVB), has officially been defunded after a long battle.

Lowndes County dropped the funding for the group and now plans to have their own litter program and cleanups.

“This is an incredibly sad moment for our community and not an easy decision to make. But organizations like KLVB depend on at least partial funding by local governments," said Michael Noll, the organization’s Vice Chairman.

KLVB Volunteers group picture.
KLVB Volunteers group picture.(WALB)

After over 20 years of service to the community, the volunteer-based organization, Keep Lowndes-Valdosta Beautiful has been dissolved.

Noll says it was a long battle with the county to keep the organization alive.

He says they’ve had thousands of unpaid volunteers and have collected more than 2.6 million pounds of trash over the years.

In addition to clean-ups, he says the organizations have given dozens of presentations each year to classrooms and community organizations to teach about the importance of environmental stewardship.

Noll says KLVB’s work has also come at no cost to local taxpayers since 1999.

He says the landfill tipping fees have covered their costs.

Then in June, he says they were defunded with no clear explanation.

We spoke to the county’s chairman, Bill Slaughter and he tells me they felt like it was time to move forward and enhance the litter program.

“KLVB was doing a great job but they were doing it at a limited capacity. They were doing maybe five different events, single-day events throughout the year and we just felt like it was time for Lowndes County to go ahead and move forward, have a more intensive litter program,” said Slaughter.

Slaughter says the discussion on the topic lasted for several years.

The county decided to start their own litter program through public works, the decision was made during the recent budgeting process.

They now have a litter crew going through the county picking up trash every day on different roads. The county also plans to continue the Rivers Alive program, working with the City of Valdosta. They have their first river cleanup this Saturday and plan to host these events multiple times per year.

The county encourages those who have worked with KLVB in the past to join and participate this weekend for the river cleanup.

You must sign up on the county or city’s website. There are six different locations available to choose to participate at.

It’ll be from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., Saturday, October 10.

Cleanup on three rivers, many creeks, Flyer, in River and Creek Cleanup, Lowndes County,...
Cleanup on three rivers, many creeks, Flyer, in River and Creek Cleanup, Lowndes County, Valdosta, and WWALS, by John S. Quarterman, for WWALS.net, 10 October 2020.(John S. Quarterman | WALB)

Copyright 2020 WALB. All rights reserved.