Silver City’s Pick It Up – Toss No Mas Recognizes Outstanding Volunteers On Saturday, January 22, 2023, Pick It Up-Toss No Mas hosted its first annual Volunteer Appreciation Day at the Silco Theatre. The event thanked over 400 volunteers who have collected 9,537 pounds of trash, debris, and recycling since October 2021. Outstanding volunteers who made a significant contribution to the program over the last year were recognized. Plans for 2023 were revealed, including the new Business Pledge Program, event schedule, and a new website (www.silvercitytossnomas.org) that provides program information and easy volunteer registration. Initiated in 2018 by Silver City Mayor Ken Ladner, the Pick It Up – Toss No Mas anti-littercampaign encourages community members, businesses, and organizations to join forces to keep our community litter free. Mayor Ladner and Program Coordinator Candice Baca recognized outstanding volunteers over the past year who have made strong commitments to litter removal in Silver City. Rebecca Summer was awarded the “Highest Participation by an Individual Volunteer” for her outstanding efforts in 6 out of 11 cleanups. She is a shining example of what it means to be a volunteer and how one person can make a real difference in our community.
Bob Schiowitz, chair of the Town of Silver City’s Trails and Open Space Advisory Committee, and Daniel Stailey of Community Youth Build were awarded the “Going Above and Beyond” award. They were recognized for their outstanding efforts in organizing cleanups outside of monthly events, including litter and debris removal from abandoned homeless camps in San Vicente Creek. Their commitment to making a difference is admirable, as they dedicate their time and resources to help make our community cleaner and more beautiful for all to enjoy. Mr. Stailey stated, “the kids that are our clients for our program, they are the ones that really deserve this award. They go above and beyond and they really pitch in. It’s great for them to see community members go out and give up their Saturdays. I love the program and I am glad to be partnered with them.”
The Bridge to Ridge Team was awarded “The Most Trash Picked Up by a Team” for their incredible volunteer participation in collecting trash from Highway 90 between the Veterans Memorial Bridge and Ridge Road. Team leaders Linda Ewers and Anita Williams coordinated the efforts of their team for 9 out of 11 monthly cleanups last year, picking up a whopping 696 pounds of trash in total. It is a testament to the commitment and dedication of team members that they were able to achieve such an impressive result.
The program had the privilege of honoring the youngest volunteers in the program, the Mint Chips team, and awarded them with the “Youngest Stars” award. The team consists of Liam Stephens Etheridge, Jaxon and Thamson Heneghan, and Lydia and Arlo Egnal. The program extended a big thank you to their parents Allison Fitzgerald Heneghan, Nancy Stephens, and Erin Fitzgerald for supporting these young stars in their endeavors. Jaxon stated, “I want to keep our community clean. If we don’t have a clean community, there’s a great risk of disease so keeping our community clean is beneficial in many ways.” Liam added, “I participated because I was in the summer camp for Silver City Watershed and it started there for me. It made me really sad to see how much trash there was so I started volunteering.”
Building upon its successful monthly community trash cleanups, the new Pick It Up – Toss No Mas Business Pledge Program directly engages businesses in community litter prevention efforts. The program’s aim is to prevent litter in Silver City, build community pride, and turn Silver City into a clean and beautiful place for everyone to enjoy.
Businesses that take the pledge will commit to keeping areas around their businesses clean and litter free by providing adequate trash receptacles and recycling bins, educating employees about the importance of proper disposal and recycling of solid waste, and promoting the litter prevention goals of the program.
Pick It Up – Toss No Mas is a partnership between the Town of Silver City and the Silver City Watershed Keepers, with an advisory committee that includes Silver City-Grant County Chamber of Commerce, Silver City Recycles, Silver City MainStreet, SWNMACT, Southwest Solid Waste Authority, and the New Mexico Department of Transportation’s Toss No Mas Program.
Thank you to the partners and sponsors who contribute to the sustainability and success of the program including the New Mexico Department of Tourism’s Clean and Beautiful Program and the Town of Silver City for providing funding for the program.
Thank you to local businesses for their support of the program: Sky West Media, Little Toad Creek, La Bonita Bakery, Gila Hike and Bike, Copper Country Dumpsters, Silver City Daily Press, Morning Star Sports, and Downtown Toys.