ROANOKE, Va—It's a clean sweep across the region. Saturday, people rolled up their sleeves and got down and dirty for a community clean up.
Armed with trash bags, volunteers rolled up their sleeves for the 33rd Clean Valley Day.
While the day started off a little cloudy, the message was clear. Organizers hope to pick up 20 tons of trash in one day. That's how much was picked up last year
"We organize folks throughout Roanoke Valley to clean up their neighborhoods, clean up the streets, the rivers, wherever they want to go," said Cristina Siegel, of the Clean Valley Council.
While nearly 1,300 people signed up, Roanoke's Old Southwest neighborhood had one of the largest numbers of volunteers. "It gets bigger every year and that's really pleasing to the whole entire community. It's a win-win for everybody," said Tim Taylor, one of this year's volunteers.
In Old Southwest, more than 40 people raked, cleaned alleyways and disposed of trash.
This group has been known to collect tons of debris, but it wasn't always this way. "My wife and I have lived here for 22 or 23 years now. We just decided when we moved here to take a proactive approach," said Jim Haynes, a volunteer. "It's just about getting out and picking up one piece of trash or a truck load." Residents say that kind of attitude really paid off, not just with cleaner yards, but with a real sense of community.
Haynes pretty much sums it all up, "In 2010 we were voted best neighborhood and it's clear why. We really take pride and make sure we're tight-knit, we know what's going on in our neighborhood and we have continual contact with each other."
If you missed out on Saturday's event, you'll have another chance to help in the fall when the Clean Valley Council hosts its Fall Waterways Cleanup. To learn more, just click here.