City Proposes Change to Litter Control Program

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COLUMBIA - SEC football season is a trashy time in Columbia, but cleanup could be more efficient for committed volunteers under a new plan.

The coordinator of the city's Volunteer Program said MU's inclusion in the SEC has made a difference.

"Since we've had much more attendance with the SEC, people attending from out of town, we do have quite a bit more litter," Andrea Shelton said.

Shelton, who oversees the Adopt-A-Spot Litter Control Program, said volunteers tell her they are up to the challenge.

The program requires its volunteers to clean their assigned spot at least four times per year.

However, Marv and Laura Wells pick up trash much more often along Stewart Road between Providence Road and Garth Avenue.

Columbia's City Source Newsletter named the two "August Volunteers of the Month."

The Wells said they do not see volunteering as a chore, but as their duty to make their neighborhood a clean place.

"We just got tired of seeing all the trash in the street and there wasn't anybody else to pick it up," Marv Wells said. "We knew that the city had a volunteer program to do things like that, and I said, 'Well, I guess it's going to be up to us.'"

The couple has been Adopt-A-Spot Litter Control volunteers for six years.

Next year, the program will undergo a few changes.

The city of Columbia's proposed budget calls for the Public Works Volunteer Program to merge with Neighborhood Services by 2014.

The manager of Neighborhood Services said, "Previously, we really functioned as two separate volunteer programs."

Leigh Britt said the two units would join in the new fiscal year.

"We're going to have less duplication, more cooperation and then also more staf to work together," Britt said. "We think it's going to be a benefit because it's going to be a better use of our staff time and also our city dollars."

More information about Adopt-A-Spot and Columbia's 2014 budget plan are available on the city's website.