National Nonprofit Presents 2019 Cigarette Litter Prevention Program Grant to Keep Dalton Whitfield Beautiful

Executive Director, Amy Hartline, poses with one of the specially ordered Ballot Bins to demonstrate how people can vote for one of two options using cigarette litter.

Executive Director, Amy Hartline, poses with one of the specially ordered Ballot Bins to demonstrate how people can vote for one of two options using cigarette litter.

Keep America Beautiful®, the nation’s leading community improvement nonprofit organization, announced it has awarded a 2019 Cigarette Litter Prevention Program® grant to Keep Dalton-Whitfield Beautiful to help it combat the most commonly littered item in America. Keep Dalton-Whitfield Beautiful is one of 50 organizations receiving a Keep America Beautiful Cigarette Litter Prevention Program (CLPP) merit-based grant. Keep Dalton Whitfield Beautiful’s grant award of $2,000 will be used to install special “ballot bins” to encourage people to put their cigarettes in the right place. These bins allow people to “vote” using their cigarettes in a poll with two different options.  “We hope to make keeping our town clean more fun and interactive. That way everyone can feel more pride in the community they’ve created.”, said Executive Director, Amy Hartline.

Communities implementing the CLPP in 2018 reported an average 62 percent reduction of cigarette litter, even greater than the previous year’s average reduction of 52 percent. Cigarette Litter Prevention Program grant funding empowers communities to help mitigate the economic, environmental and quality of-life impact of cigarette butt littering. “Litter is both the smallest and largest problem at the same time,” said Jerred Jones, program director for the CLPP. “Keep America Beautiful is dedicated to educating consumers on the hazards of littering in public spaces and providing the tools to reduce litter. Access to ash receptacles and portable pocket ashtrays are crucial to changing littering behaviors.”

The CLPP, created by Keep America Beautiful in 2002, is the nation's largest program aimed at eliminating cigarette butt and cigar tip litter. Since its inception, the program has been successfully implemented in more than 1,800 urban, suburban and rural communities nationwide. Over the past decade, participating communities have consistently cut cigarette butt litter by 50 percent based on local measurements taken in the first four months to six months after program implementation. Research has shown that even self-reported “non-litterers” often don’t consider tossing cigarette butts on the ground to be "littering." Keep America Beautiful has found that cigarette butt litter occurs most often at transition points—areas where a person must stop smoking before proceeding into another area. These include bus stops, entrances to stores and public buildings, and the sidewalk areas outside of bars and restaurants, among others. The CLPP is supported by funding from Altria, Reynolds American, and the Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company.

Visit to register for the KDWB newsletter or call 706-278-5001 to find out how you can volunteer or participate in events

Whitfield County Schools Win National Recycling Award


School is out for the summer and this year Whitfield County Schools ended the year by winning the Keep America Beautiful Recycle-Bowl competition in the community division. The Keep America Beautiful Recycle-Bowl is a national recycling competition for K-12 students, teacher, and school communities. Recycling rates are weighed and calculated for four weeks in the fall to determine the winners of 5 divisions. The community division means that the schools accept recycling from students and others within the community. This year’s Recycle-Bowl had more than 260,000 students and teachers participate and a total of 1.3 million pounds collected for recycling.

Whitfield County Schools collected a total of 31,010 pounds of recyclables during the Recycle Bowl. That’s the weight equivalent of 1,550 car tires or 87 black bears. The Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste program provides the cans for the recycling to be collected and collects the recycling each week completely for free. The DWSWA also provides educational opportunities as class visits or field trips to the recycling center with activities from a licensed educator for free. Many of the Whitfield County Schools take advantage of these opportunities to help educate their students on becoming good global citizens.

Karey Williams, Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning for Whitfield County Schools and Chair of Keep Dalton-Whitfield Beautiful supports the values taught by recycling and encourages the community to participate, "The Whitfield County School System is proud to support the recycling efforts of our community.  The students in our schools are excited to participate in efforts to keep our environment clean and healthy because they know the work is so important for the future of the planet."

While DWSWA maintains pickups, each school handles their in-school collection in a different way that is created to best suit their needs. Some have an afterschool team, or specific class in charge, and some have a particularly passionate teacher that helps encourage recycling such as Kali Tomlinson at Valley Point Middle School. She works with her students all year to help them learn what happens to recycling and increase parent engagement.

Schools that participate in past Recycle-Bowl competitions have been measured as recycling 10 percent more than schools that don’t participate. Recyclables recovered during the competition in 2018 prevented the release of 1,842.68 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. This reduction in greenhouse gases is equivalent to 4.5 million miles driven by an average passenger vehicle and 643 tons of material recycled instead of landfilled.

“It’s always exciting to see students from across the country, and from all age groups, get excited about recycling at school as well as at home or on the go,” said Keep America Beautiful Youth and Education Program Manager Kathryn Joblon in a statement. The Whitfield County students of 2018-2019 have shown the nation their commitment to making a difference through recycling.

Submitted by Keep Dalton-Whitfield Beautiful

Billboard Design Contest Winner for 2018 Announced



Valley Point Middle School 6th grader, Alicia Martinez, is the overall winner of the 2018 America Recycles Day Billboard Design Contest hosted by the Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority’s program Target Recycling at School. The winning design will be displayed on two billboards in Whitfield County (one on Cleveland Hwy., and the other on E. Walnut Ave.) during the month of November.


Ms. Martinez’s design includes the phrase “I want to be recycled!” one of the themes of the contest. The artwork is an illustration of  recyclables lining up to jump into a recycling bin. They are happy and excited to be turned into new, useful objects instead of being wasted.

The billboard design contest, now in its ninth year, has a 1st place winner from each grade level including 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. The three winners, listed below, received a certificate of participation and a gift bag with items made from recycled materials. The first place overall, who is the winner of the billboard, was selected from the first-place design from each grade level.



Winners for 2018

The winners all from Valley Point Middle that placed in the America Recycles Day Billboard Design Contest for 2018. From left to right: Alicia Martinez, Rhonda Burdette filling in for Javier Ayabar, and Javiar Torres.


·         1st Place in 6th grade and Overall Winner –Alicia Martinez, Valley Point Middle School

·         1st Place in 7th grade – Javier J. Torres, Valley Point Middle School

·         1st  Place in 8th grade - Javier Ayabar–, Valley Point Middle School


Target Recycling at School provides recycling collection services and environmental education opportunities to schools in Whitfield County. For more information, call 706-278-5001 or visit


America Recycles Day is a community-driven event dedicated to promoting recycling awareness, commitment, and action in the U.S. thru its partnership with Keep America Beautiful. It’s celebrated annually on November 15. For more information on recycling, and to take the pledge to #BeRecycled visit


2018 School Beautification Grant Winners


(Dalton, GA, September 21, 2018) – Keep Dalton-Whitfield Beautiful is pleased to announce the winners of the third annual School Beautification Grants for 2018. The committee for Beautification and Community Greening established the grant program in celebration of National Planting Day, which took place September 8 and is celebrated through the end of October.

Public and private schools in the Dalton, GA and Whitfield County were invited to apply for funding to implement a project related to planting native plants and beautifying the community. Each project aims to improve the visual aspects of the facility or provide an educational opportunity related to plants. The grants range from $250 to $500 which encompassed $83 to each team of one grade.

This year the following five schools were awarded a grant for their National Planting Day project:

1.    Coahulla Creek High School: Creating the Captivating Courtyard of Coahulla Creek

2.    New Hope Middle School: Georgia Native Plants Beautification Project

3.    Park Creek Elementary School: Berry Beautiful

4.    Morris Innovative High School: MIHS Pep Club Garden and Picnic Area

5.    Dalton Middle School: Team Trees


Projects will be completed by December 3 and each recipient will submit a project summary by December 21 to showcase their work. Visit Keep Dalton-Whitfield Beautiful’s website or follow them on Facebook to get updates on the progress of these projects.  

National Planting Day is celebrated annually by Keep America Beautiful in the fall as an opportunity to encourage volunteers to plant native species restoring ecological balance to the environment while creating greener, more beautiful communities. Learn more about this event at

24th Annual Conasauga River Watershed Cleanup

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Whitfield County and Murray County residents are invited to participate in the 24th Annual Conasauga Watershed Clean-up event on Saturday, October 27, 2018 to help keep local waterways clean at one of seven locations.

One of the largest local volunteer events in the community the annual Conasauga River Clean-up is hosted in partnership with several local non-profits, businesses, and environmental organizations during United Way’s Make a Difference Day.

Last year 290 volunteers picked up and removed more than 10,000 pounds of garbage from seven locations. “Volunteers that come out and participate are of all ages and walks of life so it is a wonderful opportunity to get to know other people while doing a service for your community.” Said Amelia Atwell, an event participant.

One of the six most biologically diverse freshwater river systems in the United States, the Conasauga River supports 24 endangered species and a dozen other imperiled species, including the Southern Pigtoe mussel and the Conasauga logperch, a fish found nowhere else in the world.

This year’s event takes place concurrently from 9:00 am to noon at seven different sites across both Whitfield and Murray counties. Be a part of the tradition by volunteering at one of the following locations:

1. Conasauga River at Carlton Petty Road bridge

2. Conasauga River at Highway 2 bridge

3. Conasauga River at Lower King’s Bridge and Norton Bridge

4. Holly Creek, Murray County, on the Chattahoochee National Forest

5. Mill Creek tributary in the City of Dalton

6. Coahulla Creek at Prater’s Mill

7. Lakeshore Park in the City of Dalton

Participants are encouraged to arrive early for on-site registration. Volunteers can expect to spend a couple of hours in the morning picking up trash and, depending on the location, removing invasive plants like Chinese privet. Volunteers should wear sturdy shoes or boots, long pants, and long sleeve shirts. Gloves, and trash bags will be provided at each site. T-shirts with this year’s river cleanup logo will be available on a first come first serve basis.  

To learn more about the river cleanup call Keep Dalton-Whitfield Beautiful at 706-278-5001 or visit to download the event flyer with directions to each site. Join and share the event on Facebook page at

Gretchen Lugthart, a long-time organizer of the event stated, “I think we have made some progress regarding people’s attitudes toward trash in this region, but until everyone respects our beautiful streams and rivers enough to dispose of trash properly, then we will have work to do.”

Event sponsors and organizers include: Shaw Industries, J+J Flooring Group, The Nature Conservancy, Rivers Alive, Dalton Utilities, United Way of Northwest Georgia, Dalton State College, Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority, Whitfield County Public Works, Conasauga River Alliance, Limestone Valley RC&D, US Forest Service, Keep Dalton-Whitfield Beautiful, Murray County and Whitfield County Extension, Keep Chatsworth-Murray Beautiful, and Murray County Public Works.