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“Don’t Drop it On Alabama” anti-littering campaign kickoff held at State House

The Annual Alabama PALS (People Against a Littered State) “Don’t Drop it On Alabama” statewide spring cleanup and recycling event was officially kicked off on Tuesday at the Alabama Statehouse.

PALS partners with Community Colleges, Coca-Cola United, the Alabama Farmers Federation, and Resource Conservation Districts for 2024 “Don’t Drop it On Alabama” Spring Cleanup

PALS has formed a strategic partnership with the Alabama Association of Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) Councils as well as the Alabama community and technical colleges.

During Community College Month in April, Alabama’s 24 community and technical colleges will work alongside city, county and community officials to complete projects that help beautify Alabama through litter pickup and recycling activities. The projects are in collaboration with Alabama PALS, Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED and Alabama RC&D Councils.

Drayton Cosby is the program director for the Alabama RC&D Program.

“Everyone involved with Don’t Drop It On Alabama appreciates the beauty of our state,” said Cosby. “This campaign aligns closely with an important RC&D goal, which is to promote and protect Alabama’s natural resources.”

“I am honored to be here today and thank you for helping cleaning up our beautiful state – and we have a beautiful state,” Cosby said. “The state of Alabama has been celebrating us for over 25 years.”

Cosby praised the support that they have seen from legislators, including Speaker of the House Nathanial Ledbetter (R-Rainsville).

“Speaker Ledbetter has been an extremely strong supporter of RC&D,” said Cosby.

“Last year this group picked up 600 tons of trash across our state,” said Ledbetter. “They are working in all communities. This shows what they are thinking about and that they care about our community.”

“I think Alabama is the most beautiful state,” Ledbetter said. “From Little River Canyon in my home district to the beaches in coastal Alabama that visitors travel from far and wide to experience, our state truly has it all. We’re blessed to live in Alabama the beautiful, and it’s our responsibility to protect it for future generations.”

“People are now discovering it because of all the magazine articles people are writing about the beauty in our state,” Ledbetter continued. “Let’s take care of our state. To throw trash on the side of the road is really something we don’t need to be doing.”

Spencer Ryan is the Executive Vice President of Alabama PALS.

“Alabama PALS is proud of the many partnerships that make the many statewide programs of Alabama PALS possible,” Ryan said. “These supportive and dedicated partners share the same mission of “working together for a cleaner and more beautiful Alabama.”  PALS is proud to have the commitment of Coca-Cola UNITED as the Title Sponsor of the 2024 “Don’t Drop it on Alabama” Statewide Spring Cleanup, and it is an honor to have ACCS and RC&D as partners in the 2024 ACCS Campus Cleanups and recycling efforts this year,” said Spencer Ryan of PALS.”

“The partnerships is what makes this successful,” said Ryan. “Working together on a common goal and that is to make Alabama the beautiful.”

“We have a staff of three,” Ryan said. “This is done through a volunteer network. I want to thank our sponsors and partners that make this possible.”

Tony Harris is the director of communications for the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT).

Harris explained that ALDOT is responsible for maintaining thousands of miles of highways in the state of Alabama. Part of that maintenance is picking up all of the things that Alabamians through out their car windows, blow out of the backs of pickup trucks through negligence, or fall off of commercial trucks because they did not secure their loads.

“Statewide ALDOT spent $9 million to clean up litter from Alabama’s roads and even with that we are playing catchup,” Harris said.

Harris said that PALS helps them clean up the roadways in Alabama, but is also dedicated to changing the culture through its education efforts.

“ALDOT is fortunate to have many great partners in our effort to keep Alabama roadways clean including the Alabama Community College System,” Harris said.

Jimmy H. Baker is the Chancellor of the ACCS.

“The Alabama Community College System (ACCS) has had the footprint to make the most change across Alabama’s communities for 61 years, and events we’ve held in conjunction with Alabama RC&D and ALPALS highlight just how serious we are about serving Alabama, together with partners, in every way that matters for our state to achieve success,” said Baker.

David Walters is the Vice Chancellor of the ACCS.

“We are proud to be part of this great initiative,” said Walters. “Alabama is a beautiful place to live and raise a family.”

“Community is in our name,” said Walters. “We are really vested in our community.”

“What we are doing here is one of the things that we are doing that we think makes our state better,” Walters continued. “Together we are better. Individually we can accomplish some things; but not at the same level as when we come together as a team. Part of this initiative is doing the litter pickup in a way that will make the state better.”

Sonny Brasfield is the Executive Director of the Association of County Commissions of Alabama,

“Our decades-long partnership with Alabama PALS on the Annual Spring Cleanup continues to be one of the most rewarding endeavors across all 67 counties,” Brasfield said. “The event is a favorite among county officials, employees and residents alike, as it provides an opportunity for everyone to come together and show their shared pride for and commitment to their county. We appreciate the important work of Alabama PALS as they continue to promote the beautification of our great state.”

Jeff Helms is the Communications Director of the Alabama Farmers Federation.

“Our small timberland holders and farmers are on the frontlines of the litter problem,” said Helms. “The understand the importance of being good stewards of the land.”

“I have a lot of pride that we have been able to partner with RC&D and Coca Cola as well as the Community College System to extend our reach,” Helms said. “I am a product of the Community College system. I dare say that we have the best community college system in the world.”

“If you see litter out there pick it up,” said Helms. “We have to focus on education. That starts with our kindergarten classrooms, our elementary, and high school classrooms.”

The annual Alabama PALS (People Against a Littered State) “Don’t Drop It On Alabama” Statewide Spring Cleanup and recycling event continues to expand, this year welcoming more community colleges to the initiative through a partnership with the Alabama Association of Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) Councils.

During Community College Month in April, Alabama’s 24 community and technical colleges will work alongside city, county and community officials to complete projects that help beautify Alabama through litter pickup and recycling activities. The projects are in collaboration with Alabama People Against a Littered State (Alabama PALS), Coca-Cola Bottling Company UNITED and Alabama RC&D Councils, and range from picking up litter along roadways to helping beautify entrances and exits into local parks, cities or facilities.

In 2023, the event resulted in over 600 tons of litter and debris being removed from Alabama’s roadways, highways, and communities.

Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth applauded the spring cleanup initiative.

“From its mountains in the north to beaches in the south and all points in between, Alabama ranks among the nation’s most beautiful states, and it’s important we take every measure to keep it that way,” Ainsworth said in a statement. “Litter detracts from our ability to appreciate all of the natural wonders Alabama offers, and combating it must remain a high priority.”

Senator President Pro-Tem Greg Reed (R-Jasper) stated he was proud of the efforts that keep Alabama beautiful.

“From the Shoals to the Gulf of Mexico, Alabama offers some of God’s most incredible creations, and we all need to do our part to keep Alabama beautiful,” said Reed in a statement. “Our natural wonders are such a resource to our state, and litter and trash tarnishes these environmental assets. I am incredibly proud of the efforts made to maintain the beauty of Alabama for our children and future generations.”

Sen. Bobby Singleton (D-Greensboro) is the Senate Minority Leader.

“I want to thank Alabama People Against a Littered State for their efforts year after year to keep our state clean,” said Singleton in a statement. “By forging this partnership with our community colleges, they are teaching our young people the importance of protecting our environment and showing them that it is everyone’s responsibility to take care of our communities.”

Rep. Anthony Daniels (D-Huntsville) is the Alabama House Minority Leader.

“When you become a father, you also become a role model for your children and one of the most important things I’ve learned as a father is that we should teach our children to have respect for the environment and the world around them,” said Daniels. “Especially in Alabama, we are blessed to live in such a beautiful state and it’s up to all of us to keep it that way.”

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