The city's unofficial `white glove' patrol the Senior Council of the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce is taking a long-range approach this year by reorganizing the group's annual citywide cleanup.
Paul Getto, acting chairman of the council, explained, "We're hoping to make the public aware that we hope we'll have a nice, clean Lawrence from now on out."
He said the council's aim was to generate "a continuous public awareness" of the need to pick up litter.
Larry Heeb Sr., a member of the council who works specifically on cleanup organization, said annual cleanups had been staged each spring for the past several years.
This year, he said, "we decided May is not the only time to clean up."
In a written news release, Heeb noted, "The role of the council is to call attention to the need to take pride in our city.''
BUT BECAUSE there is a natural accumulation of litter during the winter months, he noted, a spring push still is needed and he hopes various organizations and agencies will make that push.
Working with Patricia Marvin, city recycling coordinator, the council has been making the transition from special events with designated start and finish dates to an ongoing effort.
Marvin said she hoped the council could serve as an umbrella group with which local organizations could list their cleanup and recycling plans and from which people could find out about such efforts.
She said when the council recently issued invitations to various groups to list their cleanups, the Downtown Lawrence organization was the first to respond. The group's plan is an April 26 storage-area cleanup, "free sale" and merchandise exchange open to the public.
HEEB NOTED several other cleanups also were on the council's calendar:
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' annual Clinton Lake cleanup is April 25. Anyone interested in participating may call Jackie Wedel, 843-7665.
Douglas County Senior Services has arranged with youth groups from five local churches to help senior citizens with spring yard work. Senior citizens needing help may call 842-0543.
Heeb said several other entities were supporting the effort in other ways:
The administration of the Lawrence school district is suggesting that teachers discuss with students the problems of litter as well as the need for recycling.
Neighborhood associations are telling members that the ongoing cleanup effort has been launched.
FAST FOOD stores in Lawrence are posting signs urging proper disposal of their containers.
Some Boy Scout and Girl Scout units and the Boys and Girls Club have volunteered for park cleanup assignments. Heeb noted the Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department set a good example with its adopt-a-park program, which has appealed to a number of volunteer groups in addition to the three youth organizations.
Haskell Indian Junior College is planning its annual campus cleanup.
Kansas University students in organized housing and rental properties have been notified of the cleanup effort. On campus, recycling programs have been in place for several years.
With college students, Heeb added, a special concern is the recycling of usable furniture that the students no longer need when their studies are complete.
"IF PLACED in dumpsters," he explained, "it adds to the landfill. . . . It could be made available to persons who have a need for it." He urged students with such furniture to call the Salvation Army, 749-4208, or the Disabled American Veterans Thrift Store, 749-4900, for pickups.
The city's Public Works Department also offers special pickups for disposables too bulky to be handled in regular refuse collections. Call 841-1911 for this service.
Heeb said, "The point is, we try to put the spotlight on various things going on in Lawrence to make it clean and keep it clean."
The Senior Council was formed in 1988 and works through its Pride Committee on the local cleanups. Recycling always has been a focus of the efforts, which were timed to spruce up the community for spring commencements.
The council is made up of about 40 community residents, most of whom are retired, who offer experience and time on such chamber projects as beautification and cleanup.
Groups can call the chamber, 865-4411, and leave a message for Getto about planned cleanups or they can contact Marvin at the city recycling coordinator's office at 832-3330.