Jonesboro Mayor Joy Day and resident Geneva Peach share a laugh while they look for trash along Smith Street during Jonesboro Neighborhood Watch's first-ever city-wide clean up day Saturday.
JONESBORO A small group of volunteers literally had Jonesboro’s trash in the bag Saturday morning.
Eight volunteers, including Mayor Joy Day and Councilwoman Pat Sebo, spent more than two hours scouring the city’s neighborhoods. They were looking for all of the trash they could find along sidewalks and public right-of-ways.
Occasionally, the volunteers had a little fun with their dirty task.
“Hey look at this — it kinda like an artifact,” said Day jokingly as she held up an empty, mud-encrusted, partially sun-bleached Coke can.
The clean up effort was the first of its kind by Jonesboro Neighborhood Watch and officials said they were pleased with the results even though they also said they wished more residents had volunteered.
“I think it went well,” said organizer B.J. Burrell. “I would have loved to have more people out here, but I think it did a lot of good.”
While trash in the city may not be evident at a passing glance, the volunteers found enough to fill roughly 20 bags in the neighborhoods between South Avenue and North Avenue.
Along the streets they found tires, used diapers, a six-inch knife, a pocket knife, a pair of sandals, surgical booties, hubcaps, cigarette butts, a student’s homework assignment, beer bottles, potato chip bags, empty fast food drink cups and several fragments from a dog’s skeleton.
“What I think about when I see all of this garbage along our streets is ‘Who threw this out? Where were they going? What were they thinking,” said Day as she picked up trash along Smith Street.
“What I think about when I see all of this garbage along our streets is ‘Who threw this out? Where were they going? What were they thinking?” — Jonesboro Mayor Joy Day.
Neighborhood Watch President Nancy Carr said the volume of trash collected was enough evidence to show the group should continue doing clean-up days on a monthly basis.
“We hope to take a different section of town every month and focus on cleaning up that section,” said Carr. “I think [Saturday] was good. We got a lot of garbage and had a lot of positive feedback from residents that we stopped and talked to about what we were doing.”
Jonesboro resident Geneva Peach found enough garbage to fill a trash bag in one half-block stretch of bushes across Smith Street from the Clayton County Board of Commissioners building. She and Day also found a large volume of trash along a path Open Campus High School students walk every weekday at lunchtime between the Eula Ponds Perry Center for Learning and nearby fast food restaurants.
Another heavy concentration of trash was found by the duo on the backside of the Lee Street Elementary School campus.
“I’m going to clean this city up, if it’s the last thing I do,” Peach said.
She later added, “Maybe if people see us out here picking up trash, they’ll stop littering.”