NC Litter-Free Coalition Pays Youth for Trash Cleanup

The North Carolina Litter-Free Coalition, a Murphy, N.C.-based anti-litter group, has developed a “Cash-4-Trash” program with at least 45 businesses and dozens of individual supporters in Cherokee County, N.C.

The coalition is partnered with businesses who are willing to pledge $100 to individuals and groups of young people who fill trash bags with litter from the county. In order to receive the money, individuals must answer a series of questions about their clean-up and send them to the spokesman of the coalition, Gary Chamberlain.

“Some of the lessons we’re trying to teach the kids is something about marketing, sales and performing a service and getting paid for it,” Chamberlain says.

At Martins Creek School in Cherokee County, N.C., Principal Paul Wilson states that the school’s participation with the coalition has a positive impact on students. The school conducts regular litter pick-ups and educates students on the negative effects of trash. According to Wilson, the main benefit of participating with the coalition goes beyond a cleaner community — it is also an educational opportunity for the students.

“I’m all about virtue — test scores are important, but good character and civic duty, to me, that’s the ultimate goal of education,” Wilson says. — By Carolina Norman


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