Keep Irving Beautiful (KIB) hosted its 26th Annual Trash Bash, the organization’s signature cleanup event, at T.W. Richardson Grove Park on September 30. There were 419 volunteers of all ages (224 adults and 195 youth) who came out to help pick up litter and keep it out of the nearby Elm Fork of the Trinity River. The group gave 1,257 hours of service in collecting 760 pounds of trash and 1,440 pounds of recyclables. Following the event, both beef and veggie burgers were served for lunch, along with chips donated by Frito-Lay. For the sixth year, the Trash Bash was held on National Public Lands Day, with thousands of volunteers engaged in similar projects across the country.
In addition to picking up litter, KIB also includes educational components to make the Trash Bash experience better. Naturalist and fossil expert Jon Halsey and snake expert Barry Allen brought their displays of artifacts and reptiles, respectively, and Water Utilities staff was on site with information about water conservation, their prize wheel with giveaway items, and cold water for the volunteers to drink. Parker University Chiropractic Interns performed posture analyses as an additional service for the volunteers. Event sponsor Nissan had representatives at their tent to talk about green alternatives in vehicles. Many volunteers brought canned food items, a total of 539, which were donated to the Crisis Ministries of Irving Food Pantry.
KIB’s partnerships with City of Irving Departments played a big role in the success of the Trash Bash. The Parks Department reserved the location and provided logistic support, Solid Waste Services provided a roll-off dumpster and weighed the bags collected, and Corporate Communications sent an ICTN crew to video the action and interview the participants. A team of Code Enforcement, Housing and Human Services and Human Resources employee volunteers prepared and served the lunch. Mayor Rick Stopfer provided an official proclamation declaring September 30 as “Trash Bash Day in Irving.” Partners who contributed to the success of the event included: perennial sponsor Vizient, Inc., and new sponsor Nissan Group of North America; Verizon, whose Green Team members packed and distributed 300 goodie bags to volunteers; AcuGraphics, who printed the T-shirts; FASTSIGNS Irving-Las Colinas; the Rambler and Burb Newspapers; and Magician Maxwell Blade. Prizes were generously donated by the Irving Family YMCA, City of Irving Parks and Recreation, Kroger, Glory House, and Arnold Brothers Forest Products. North Lake College’s Alpha Zeta Eta chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society helped with every part of the event, starting with the planning and recruiting process. They were there early to set up and stayed late to pack up, and participated by greeting volunteers, passing out supplies and T-shirts, working in litter crews, and helping with food service. A new addition to the team was the Singley Academy Police Explorers, who kept the traffic and parking organized.
“Over the past 26 years, the Trash Bash has become an Irving tradition that many people look forward to each year,” said KIB Board President Jim Scrivner. “We try to make it about more than just picking up litter. Our volunteers enjoy learning about water conservation, wildlife, and fossils, as well as contributing to the canned food drive and participating in the posture screenings. We hope that our volunteers come away from this event with a strong sense of community pride and the knowledge that they made a difference.”
Keep Irving Beautiful is a non-profit, grassroots, leadership organization dedicated to educating our community about litter abatement, recycling, and beautification to help preserve the health and promote the social and economic prosperity of our city. As an award-winning affiliate of Keep America Beautiful and Keep Texas Beautiful, Keep Irving Beautiful reaches out to all sectors of our city including government, business, church, cultural, educational, neighborhood and civic organizations. If you are interested in volunteering with KIB, or making your activity a “green event,” please go to Keep Irving Beautiful, or call (972) 721-2175.