Choctaw County, Alabama This is the time of year when many people are thinking about spring cleaning. One West Alabama County has gotten a head-start through a new program that's already responsible for thousands of pounds of trash being removed from along roadways.
Imagine the weight of about four cars; that would equal more than 12,000 pounds, and that's roughly how much trash that has been removed from Choctaw County roadways since mid-January.
Some might say that calling the program a success is an understatement, and here's why. In the Shady Grove Community, which is located in the southern part of the county, one ton of trash was picked up along roads there alone.
Monday morning Newscenter 11 caught up with a crew just east of Pennington.
"We have picked up from mid-January to now, a little more than six tons of garbage," says Sheriff Scott Lolley. "What I've been doing is I've been picking very low risk inmates to do the work."
Transferred funds from the county engineer's budget help the Choctaw County Sheriff's Department employ one part-time employee to supervise two inmates to do the work three days a week.
"It helps with recruitment," says Lolley. "If you're looking to move a business in the county, they look at the road, they look at the schools, they look at the appearance of the county. If it's full of paper, they may move on to another place."
Sheriff Lolley says the goal is to cover all districts within the county before returning to the same areas.
Choctaw County was recently awarded a $125,000 grant from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management. By the end of April Sheriff Lolley says that money will start being used to pick up old tires along county roads.