By Donna Hill
Fort Bend Star Correspondent
There are groups around the area that strive to keep Fort Bend tidy.
It usually starts small. It might involve keeping stuff in trash cans or getting some of your friends together to clean up the yard.
Around Fort Bend County, groups of dedicated citizens are doing just that – and on a bigger scale. Sign up online and you’re ready to go.
Starting Saturday, April 9, several cities in Fort Bend County are participating in the Don’t Mess With Texas and The Great American Clean-Up, a statewide program launched in 1986 to keep Texas litter-free. Don’t Mess With Texas partners with Adopt-A-Highway to make up TxDOT’s litter prevention programs and, as a grassroots partner with Keep Texas Beautiful, it co-hosts the state’s single largest one-day cleanup event, the annual Trash-Off.
Keep America Beautiful launched the Great American Cleanup last month partnering with local affiliates, organizations, volunteers and corporate sponsors.
Missouri City Green starts its fourth Annual Don’t Mess with Texas Trash-Off on Saturday, April 9, from 8:30 a.m. to noon in partnership with Missouri City Parks and Recreation Department.
Volunteers need to complete a signed waiver and bring to the event in order to participate. Check-in times are from 8-9 a.m. at the Missouri City Community Center, 1524 Texas Pkwy. From 9-11 a.m. is the litter clean up (at Missouri City parks, streets and waterways) and from 11:15 a.m. to noon, enjoy a volunteer appreciation lunch, free gift and awards. Students can earn volunteer hours; those under 18 must be supervised by adult.
Missouri City Green volunteer and Brightwater Garden Club member Nancy Schoepf said that over the past three years “volunteers with Missouri City Green have removed over 6,000 pounds of litter from Missouri City’s parks, trails and waterways. The Trash-Off is a great way for volunteers from across the community, including school groups, faith based organizations, scouts, neighborhood groups and individual families to come together and clean up our city.”
Missouri City Green also has a new mascot Mycle Recycle, sponsored by Dow Chemical. He’ll be glad to see you.
The first 100 to register will get a free event T shirt. For more info, and to sign up online go to www.missouricitygreen.org.
Also on April 9 starting at 9 a.m., the City of Stafford will host its 23rd Annual City Wide Pride Spring Clean Up, also a part of Don’t Mess With Texas and The Great American Clean-up. The event lasts until 1 p.m. Waivers must be brought to City Hall prior to the day of the event.
Pick up t-shirts, maps, and supplies on Friday afternoon, April 8 after 1 p.m. (by appointment only) at City Hall in the Permit Department, or on the day of the event between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. at City Hall located at 2610 S. Main.
The event is sponsored by the City of Stafford, TxDOT and corporate sponsors and local businesses. Hard work with be rewarded with T-shirts and a free lunch. Trophies will be awarded for the Most Trash Collected, Most Unusual Trash Collected, Most Valuable Trash Collected, Most Recyclable Drink Containers Collected, Most Participants in a Group and the Oldest Trash Collector.
Look for a certified contractor on the north side of City Hall from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to shred sensitive documents. You can drive thru, shred your documents, and return home.
Chunk Your Junk is for disposing E-waste like old or broken computers, television, monitors, laptops, cell phones, and keyboards. Drive through the City Hall’s north side parking lot to unload in the designated area. Not excepted will be large appliances, thermometers, fire alarms, detectors or anything with sludge or liquid.
Chunk Your Junk will also be there for curbside pickup. Local waste collector WCA will join in by sending trucks through the neighborhoods the day of the clean-up to pick up only heavy trash, placed by the curb no later than 7 a.m. Saturday (April 9). WCA will not accept paint, chemicals, batteries, regular household waste or part parts on that day. Refrigerators and freezers accepted, but must first be drained of coolant. Lumber, plywood, small tree limbs must be cut into four-foot lengths and tied into bundles.
For more information, go to City Wide Pride Spring Clean-Up or call Marcia Fouts, with the City of Stafford at 281-261-3941.
In Sugar Land, events for cleanup will be on Saturday, April 16, from 1-5 p.m. on the plaza at Sugar Land Town Square. The Earth Day Celebration, called Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rock, is provided by the City of Sugar Land in partnership with Keep Sugar Land Beautiful and Sugar Land Town Square.
Keeping with the green image, reptile shows by Texas Snakes and More will be from 1:15 p.m. and 3:10 p.m.
High energy performances will highlight the day by the very environmentally conscious group Vocal Trash, from 2:15 p.m. and 4 p.m. They use recycled material onstage. Plus they’ll get you to remember “THINK…before you throw away.”
Environmental activity booths and performances are planned on the plaza. Look for Eco-friendly displays, demonstrations, interactive games and education booths from many local organizations. You can spend the day learning about recycling, upcycling, gardening, clean water, water conservation, bees, butterflies, clean air, and an appreciation of nature.
Paper shredding will be provided by ProShred at no cost in the parking lot at Sugar Land City Hall, 14727 Town Center Blvd. North. Guidelines for paper shredding include residents remaining in car at all times and walk-ups are not accepted. ProShred staff will remove items from vehicles and residents may not be able to watch their documents get shredded. Containers used to transport items and papers will not be returned.
For more information, visit www.sugarlandtx.gov/earthday or call 281-313-5752.