For decades, Keep Lowndes Valdosta Beautiful has made a difference in our community.
Our national organization, Keep America Beautiful, recognizes this.
The State of Georgia recognizes this.
Local schools and local businesses recognize this.
And so do thousands of volunteers who have been a vital part of KLVB’s work for more than two decades.
These unpaid volunteers have been part of programs like Rivers Alive, The Great American Cleanup, Make-A-Difference-Day, Bring One For The Chipper and electronics recycling.
Over the years, KLVB has collected more than 2.6 million pounds of trash, more than 3,400 tires, more than 300 appliances and countless Christmas trees and electronic devices.
It is not just that KLVB has successfully worked with thousands of volunteers to accomplish this, it has done so at no cost to local taxpayers since 1999.
Let me repeat this: Taxpaying citizens in our community have not paid one single dime for KLVB since 1999.
Why? Because KLVB, which has only one paid position, is directly funded by the landfill enterprise fund. So each time someone dumps waste on our landfill, a portion of the fees collected is used to finance KLVB.
On one hand, this approach encourages communities and its municipal entities to create less waste. On the other hand, any waste that ends up on the landfill helps fund KLVB, which in turn cleans up neighborhoods, streets and rivers, promotes environmental stewardship and redirects potentially toxic materials to the appropriate recycling facilities.
Who in their right mind would cut the funding for an organization that has been so instrumental for the beautification of our city and county, for keeping tons of materials out of our landfill, and for promoting environmental stewardship, and all of this without costing taxpayers one single dime?
Now, we all make mistakes. That is what makes us human. But it is time for the Lowndes County Commission to recognize the good KLVB has done for our community.
We will visit the Lowndes County Commission on March 10 and, again, request a full restoration of our funding, so we can continue our work. We invite our supporters to either join us or to contact their county commissioners and Chairman (Bill) Slaughter to voice their support for our request.
Dr. Michael G. Noll is vice chairman of Keep Lowndes Valdosta Beautiful.