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Litter has plagued the roadways in Bladen County over the past year. Covid halted the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office litter pickup program and affected the concern for keeping Bladen beautiful. The massive amounts of trash across the highways and byways serve as reminders of how many litterbugs cross their paths.  

However, Covid nor apathy has not stopped one adopted teenager from cleaning up the area. Daniel has been picking up bags full of debris in Elizabethtown. From Peanut Plant Road, Broad Street, and Owen Hill Road, large bags of trash line the grass as a testament to Daniel’s work. 

Daniel is a teenage orphan from Europe with a dream and determination. He said he is picking up the roadside litter as part of the Tarheel Challenge Academy. The academy challenges youth to give back to their community with service work. 

The North Carolina Tarheel ChalleNGe Academies are part of the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program (NGYCP). The National Guard established the Academies program in 1993 to turn around at-risk youth’s lives. 

Daniel is taking advantage of Tarheel ChalleNGe Academy’s benefits and committed to picking up the plethora of trash around the area as his community project. 

Daniel is making plans to join the Marines and serve America in the Armed Forces. 

Hopefully, Daniel’s actions have inspired more participation in roadside litter pickup. The North Carolina Department of Transportation promotes the 2021 Spring Litter Sweep for all citizens to participate. The State’s litter sweep is taking place from April 10 through April 24, 2021. 

Residents throughout the State are encouraged to participate in local efforts to help clean up North Carolina’s roadways. Volunteers are provided cleanup supplies, such as reversible orange/blue trash bags, gloves, and orange safety vests,​ from their local NCDOT County Maintenance Yard office.

To participate in Litter Sweep, contact Becky White Walker with the NCDOT litter program at 910-862-3396. She will get your team set up with supplies.​