Trash is thrown onto the roads of Clay County every day of the year, which is why some local officials are thinking of implementing a future volunteer-based, countywide clean-up program for the county.
Commissioners Charlie Brown, Paul Sinders and Jack Withers understand the frustration local residents feel about trash thrown from vehicles littering roadsides, parks and yards around the county. They are looking into the feasibility of creating such a program in Clay County where volunteer groups agree to adopt and keep a county road clean.
The commissioners recently told The Brazil Times that they believe some people feel no sense of ownership for their community, even though it is their tax dollars that help provide the upkeep of roads, parks and other county property.
"It's like the people that do this believe it is someone else's job to pick up after them," Sinders said. "Volunteer programs like Adopt-A-Highway are very successful in surrounding counties."
Throughout the year, but especially during the month of April, the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) provide supplies and safety equipment to Adopt-A-Highway groups as they work together in a major statewide effort to clean up Indiana's highways and right-of-ways during Trash Bash.
Volunteers and highway workers are expected to collect tons of trash during this year's Trash Bash event, scheduled April 5-27, 2008. In 2007, INDOT workers, INDOT coordinated Department of Correction crews and 249 Adopt-A-Highway groups collected more than 34,500 bags of trash from 3,000 miles of state highways.
Currently at the county level, a group of adults and juveniles participating in court-appointed community service or work release programs through Clay County Community Corrections Department help pick up trash.
Brown, who helps supervise the group on weekends, said they have picked up several truckloads of trash and many bags of aluminum cans.
"The cans will be recycled and the money will be donated to Riley Children's Hospital of Indianapolis," Brown said. "These people have great hearts and are doing a good thing while they pay their debt to society."
The people involved say the experience allows them to feel a part of and have pride in their community, that what they are doing will help make Clay County a better place.
It is an idea the commissioners say is worth implementing year round.
"We need to work together, all of us, to do everything we can to make Clay County a better place," Withers said. "We need to take pride in our home."