Resident forms trash picking group

Many people can see a problem; few people will take action to resolve it.Sweetwater resident Russ Petty noticed piles of trash accumulating around town — specifically around the Interstate 20 and Lamar Street area — and decided to take action.Petty not only thought about the community, but how the trash might leave a poor impression to passers-by about Sweetwater."It's embarrassing," said Petty in a phone interview.As a result, Petty formed the Sweetwater Trash Pickers in early January of this year. To share his cause, Petty took to Facebook and created a group with the same name, which currently has 180 members.The Sweetwater Trash Pickers will have their first trash pick-up day on Saturday, Jan. 28. Starting at 9 a.m., the group will gather at the vacant lot north of the Chevron convenience store on the corner of Lamar and I-20 to begin their efforts. Their plan is to start early in the season before the grass and weeds grow bigger.Already, people are committing to help as the local chapter of the National Honor Society will assist the Sweetwater Trash Pickers. In addition, the Sweetwater Wal-Mart, according to the Facebook group's page, will also contribute by donating trash bags and bottled water for the event.However, the local movement is going beyond the city limits. Petty confirmed that a former resident — who now lives in Fort Worth — will be bringing a group from her church to help."Any group is welcome," Petty stated. "It's a good way for high school kids or anyone to get some community service done."Following the January trash pick-up, the Sweetwater Trash Pickers are looking at having another pick-up day a couple of weeks before the Rattlesnake Round-up. Once the two pick-up days have taken place, Petty says that the group will assess their long-term plan. For now, he just wants to get the areas of concern — which include West Broadway and Avenue A — cleaned up."I want people to be aware of the situation," Petty stressed. "I want them to care about the town and to help pick up Sweetwater."For more information about the Sweetwater Trash Pickers and their upcoming events, join the "Sweetwater Trash Pickers" Facebook group or contact Petty at 235-1677 or 933-0179.