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'Don't mess with Texas Trash-Off' keeps Abilene beautiful

By Kristen Pope, Reporter, kpope@ktxs.com
Published On: Apr 06 2013 07:08:36 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 06 2013 07:08:46 PM CDT
ABILENE, Texas -

You know the saying, "pick up after yourself?" Abilenians took that seriously Saturday at the "Don't mess with Texas Trash-Off."

The "Trash-Off" took place beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday morning. It's an annual partnership between "Keep Abilene Beautiful" and TxDot.

125 people signed up for the community clean up portion.

That was in addition to the 500 people that signed up to clean their adopted highways throughout the Big Country. Most of those highways are in Taylor County.

Heavy winds dominated the morning weather, but that didn't stop dedicated Abilenians from pitching in and picking up.

Young teen Olga Silva woke up early to help clean her community with her mom. She believes you're never too young to make a difference.

"I feel really responsible for helping the children and just showing them that you're not too young to start helping your community," said Olga.

Volunteers of all ages came out to pick up trash, not just along the highway, but also in people's front yards. Olga said she's thinking about the future.

"It's going to be really difficult when we get older but the more we help out the more our city will be clean and we could live better," said Olga.

"Keep Abilene Beautiful" President Ray Grothaus said, "A lot of it is just people being willing and excited to do their part and help. A lot of it is teaching the youth. A lot of parents want to bring their kids out and raise their awareness of litter prevention and the beautification of our city."

Olga and her mother showed up to help out, but also to enjoy quality time together.

"I actually get to spend time with her and we get to help out and spend time with other people and just do kindness," said Olga.

However, if Olga catches you littering, she's got a message for you.

Olga said, "Pick it up, really."