Dozens of Edmond residents loitered in the parking lot outside Edmond’s Administrative Building early Saturday morning, waiting to collect their vests and garbage bags they would need to clean litter off the city’s streets.

At first glance, they seem like they are there to serve a punitive community service, but they aren’t there because of a court order, they came because they are apart of the Adopt a Street program.

It’s all part of Adopt a Street Clean Up and Drop Off Day, an event sponsored by Keep Edmond Beautiful and the City of Edmond.

Fall Drop Off Day, along with a Spring Drop Off Day, are times where organizations that have adopted a street, or a one mile stretch of it, are encouraged to come out and pick up the litter left by their less civic minded peers.

In addition to Adopt a Street, the event will also be allowing citizens to leave their old tires, batteries, antifreeze and oils so they can be disposed of properly.

All those items are potential threats to the environment, and the City of Edmond accepts those items on the spring and fall drop off days.

“We want to keep oil and antifreeze out of the streams and not to be flushed down toilets or poured down drains,” said Judy O’Day, Solid Waste administration supervisor and coordinator for the fall and spring drop off. “We do the event with Keep Edmond Beautiful, and its been going on since 1989.”

Organizations are required to pick up trash on their adopted stretches of land three times a year, during the spring and fall drop off days and then one other day of their choosing between October and April.

“We’re trying to revamp the program to get more interest and initiate more enthusiasm,” O’Day said.

“We have 19 Adopt a Street organizations,” Jackie Jackson, administrative specialist II of the Street Department said. “It takes around 45 minutes for a one mile stretch, depending on how many people they have picking up and how much trash is on the street.”

Organizations also agree to a two-year commitment, and participation in the clean up days are usually very high.

“The benefit is it makes for a cleaner area and environment for everyone, no one wants to have to look at unsightly trash,” Jackson said.

 Keep Edmond Beautiful is also very focused on recycling, and the drop off days are very important because of the effect they can have on the environment, taxes, as well as the fact that many can be reused.

“We think it’s important because so many things that are thrown away can be recycled, we’re really a throw away society,”  said Priscilla Parker, President of Keep Edmond Beautiful. “It’s a good way to reuse things and saves taxes on landfill costs.”

The event ran from 8 a.m. to noon and the city supplied the vests and bags, the organizations only had to supply the volunteers.

“It gives citizens time to do civic duty and give back to the city,” Jackson said.

For more information, call 2167626 or 348-4171 or visit the city’s Web site at www.edmondok.com.

(Charles Martin may be reached via e-mail at cmartin@edmondsun.com.)

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