Chambers County litter program wins first in state competition

Published 12:00 pm Wednesday, November 22, 2023

For the second year in a row, the Chambers County Commission won the governor’s award for the 2023 Alabama People Against A Littered State (PALS) Governor’s Awards on Nov. 8. Valley High School also won first place and $1,000 in the 2022-2023 Alabama Clean Campus Program statewide competition.

“It’s huge to win a state award one time, much less twice in a row,” said County Commissioner Sam Bradford.

The Alabama PALS program sponsors the annual Governor’s Awards event. Each year, cities, counties and local organizations are recognized for their efforts toward litter control, recycling, local and statewide cleanup and volunteering efforts and environmental education.

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The Clean Campus program encourages litter education and recycling programs in Alabama schools. 

The county commission was recognized for the roadside litter cleanup initiative that Bradford introduced. The commission won last year’s governor’s award thanks to the litter cleanup initiative.

Funded by the commission, churches, schools, nonoprofit and civic organizations are assigned a stretch of county road to pick up litter. Once finished, they receive a $250 check from the county commission. 

The sheriff’s office helps oversee the project, patrolling the roads and picking up the gathered litter. 

“Number one, it has made an awareness to the litter that is out there,” Bradford said. 

Last year, students from Chambers County School District received honorable mention for the PALS poster project. This year, students from Bob Harding Shawmut Elementary School and Fairfax Elementary placed in third in the poster competition.

Bradford began the project in 2022 when he took a leadership role in the Alabama Association of County Commissioners. The county commission originally funded $6,000 for the project. Last year, the commission approved $8,000 for continuing it.