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Leaders against litter

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OUACHITA PARISH, La. (KNOE 8 News) - Business leaders, political leaders and elected officials practiced what they preached today. Nolan Crane was there as they rolled up their sleeves and picked up trash in the twin cities. Saturday is the Great American Cleanup for Ouachita Parish and they kicked the event off picking up bags full of trash.

It's not every day you see political leaders on the side of the road filling up trash bags with garbage. More than 30 elected officials and business leaders pledged to clean up their town. After signing up they got to work spending their afternoon in the twin cities making Ouachita Parish beautiful.

"Our state does have a reputation of having trash and litter in the road ways and we just need to do a better job," said Mike Walsworth.

State Senator Mike Walsworth says he knows some people who cause the mess he was cleaning up.

"Buddies of mine will throw their trash in the back of the truck and the next thing you know the truck blows it out from the back of the truck. We need to do a better job," said Walsworth.

Despite the effort from these community leaders there is still a lot of trash that needs to get picked up. Saturday from nine to noon is the Great American Cleanup. The executive director of Keep Ouachita Parish Beautiful says the less litter we see the more green the state will be able to save.

"The less government has to spend on litter, the less we have to use our tax dollars to do something like that. That's one of the big reasons; we don't want our tax dollars going to just pick up litter. We want it going to things that are really needed to help people," said Wayne Heckford.

If you're Monroe Proud you don't have to follow a group to make a difference in cleaning your neighborhood.

"Even if a person can't part in the Great American Cleanup, come out to our various rallying points, they can just cleanup their own front yard. Just do something there with their own front yard, take care of their block," said Gregg Smith.

The trash on the roads, floating in the rivers and hung in trees might have been placed by someone else, but these leaders say since we see it, it's all of our responsibility.

If you want to get involved there are going to be four meeting spots. The Farmers Market in West Monroe, city hall in Monroe, city hall in Sterlington and city hall in Richwood. Cleanup will take place tomorrow from 9 am until noon.

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