LONDON — When London native MiKayla Vires came back to her hometown to visit her parents recently, she was devastated when she saw all the trash littered throughout the community.

Vires went to Facebook to post about what she had seen, in hopes that others in the community had also noticed the piles of trash left scattered along the roadways and had some solutions.

“Everyone was commenting agreeing with me, saying that there was no excuse for it and they wished we could do a community cleanup for it and I thought that was such a great idea,” she said.

Vires began brainstorming ways she could help her hometown and came up with “Don’t Be Trashy,” a community-led cleanup event where Vires is asking volunteers to help cleanup the trash that is littering the area, something that Vires feels very strongly about.

“Pollution is horrible and it affects the water, the soil, the air,” she said. “I don’t think people really think about that in the process of littering, they just throw it out without giving it much thought. It has an effect on our animals, birds and all that because they consume what we throw out and our plants. There are also social costs that come with it—you have to pay the people to pick up trash, remove the trash. It also increases the probability of fires.

“These are just all things that I feel like if people were more educated on and knew the effects of it, then maybe it wouldn’t happen so often.”

Volunteers will meet at the London-Laurel County Farmers Market on Saturday morning, March 20, where Vires will split people up into groups that will take on different areas throughout the county. Vires said that the areas community members feel need the cleanup the most include down KY 192, Hal Rogers Parkway, East and West 80, the Hawk Creek area, the downtown area and US 25.

Laurel County Jailer Jamie Mosley will be donating trash grabbers, trash bags and any other needed supplies. Vires will also have some gloves on-hand for people to use, as well as water donated by Borden Dairy.

Vires said that people are more than welcome to bring their own supplies, including gloves, trash grabbers or spears and trash bags.

Vires hopes the cleanup event will inspire others to not only do their part in keeping their community clean but will also inspire them to educate others on the issue with littering.

“I just hope by doing this that people can understand the types of things people are throwing out and how bad that could be for us, how bad that makes our community look and how bad that is for the environment,” she said. “Maybe by people seeing us cleaning up, they will say ‘that’s so great, I need to do that.’”

The “Don’t Be Trashy” community cleanup event will take place on Saturday, beginning at 9 a.m. at the London-Laurel County Farmers Market. Vires encourages all community members to come be a part of the event and help keep their community clean.

“It’s a great chance to meet people in your community, make friends and learn about how polluting effects us and our environment,” she said. “It can bring some positivity into your life by doing something positive, not only for yourself but for others and the world we all live in.”

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