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Hundreds Of Pounds Of Garbage Removed, Sense Of Community Strengthened, During Branson Trash Pickups

Branson Board of Aldermen member, Julia King
City of Branson
Branson Board of Aldermen member, Julia King
Branson Board of Aldermen member, Julia King
Credit City of Branson
Branson Board of Aldermen member, Julia King

There’s a lot less trash along Branson streets after three trash pickups coordinated by Branson’s newest member of the Board of Aldermen. 

Julia King came up with the idea to hold the cleanup events after she noticed citizens complaining on social media about trash along the city’s roadways, and constituents began emailing the mayor and aldermen about the issue.  King had also noticed that there was a problem with litter.

"So, I decided I would grab the bull by the horns and tackle this one," she said, "so I let my fellow aldermen know that I would be working with our residents on a plan to address this."

After much brainstorming about how to solve the litter problem, King decided the best way to approach it was to have the community get involved.

The Board of Aldermen supported her plan.  The Branson Police Department and Fire Department offered to help with public safety, and various city departments also jumped in to help with things like hauling off the trash and registering volunteers.

King wasn’t sure how many residents would sign up to help, but she was pleasantly surprised.

"It turns out there are a lot of people who hate litter," she said, laughing, "and they registered in large numbers, and we had really great turnouts for the month of March."

City employees and some members of the Board of Aldermen worked alongside citizen volunteers to pick up trash on three Saturdays in March.

A total of 1280 pounds of trash was picked up during the first two events.  The trash from last Saturday’s cleanup hasn’t been weighed yet, but King said she won’t be surprised if it’s over a ton.  Twelve pickup truck loads of garbage were picked up on March 27.

Besides making Branson streets more pleasant, King said the trash pickups served another purpose.

"You know, we all have gone through a lot during the pandemic.  We've gone through a lot with the recent election.  We've gone through a lot with a lot of social causes that have been taking place, and I think people have just been exhausted from it," she said.  "And so it was very refreshing for them to get out of the house, get some fresh air, do something good, have a sense of community."

King said she hopes to make the trash pickups an annual event. Citizens have already asked her when the next one will be, she said.

Copyright 2021 KSMU. To see more, visit KSMU.

Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. She likes to tell stories that make a difference. Michele enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and leisurely kayaking.