Last week we spotlighted Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Memphis. This week let us promote a Memphis City Beautiful program that is empowering citizens to help curb litter: 52-CLEAN.
Established in 1930, Memphis City Beautiful works to help make our city a clean and healthy place to live. The organization focuses on providing public education programs and other services to encourage citizens to take responsibility for improving our environment. They also supervise civic beautification projects designed to enhance the appearance of parks and other public spaces throughout Memphis.
It was not too long ago when Memphis was recognized as America’s Cleanest City in 1983. We were voted the “Cleanest City in Tennessee” seven times, from 1940 to 1946, and also the “Nation’s Cleanest City” from 1948 to 1951. While this distinction is praise-worthy, keeping our city clean is an ongoing, daily mindset that we all must embrace if we are going to regain our national title. The key to our success lies in taking ownership and restoring civic pride.
It should be mandatory for every citizen to spend at least an hour each year picking up trash. Your perspective quickly changes after a hot day of lifting huge 18-wheeler tires and picking up thousands of water bottles, fast food wrappers, and cigarette butts. Most of it can be avoided, though, if motorists would keep their trash in their vehicle until they get to place where they can throw it away.
With this in mind, Memphis City Beautiful provides a 24-hour phone line, 52-CLEAN, so citizens can report motorists who improperly dispose of trash on our streets. This free service allows you to call in with the license number, vehicle type, date, time and location, as well as a description of the violation witnessed. An online form is available at www.memphiscitybeautiful.org. Memphis City Beautiful will send the offender an official warning letter detailing the criminal penalties associated with littering, along with a brochure about the problem and a litter-bag for their car.
So, call 52-CLEAN next time you see someone littering from their vehicle.
Click here to read the column in The Commercial Appeal.