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Boy inspires trash cleanup with Litter Rodeo


By Lee Peck

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    FORT MORGAN, Alabama (WALA) — Arming themselves with trash bags — there was a mad dash after the horn signaled the start of the Litter Rodeo.

5-year-old Oliver Caver behind the event to pick up trash this weekend at the Fort Morgan State Historic Site. His adventures of picking up trash during the pandemic — led to a children’s book and his family even starting “Clean Horizons” to encourage others to “Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.”

“I think it is real good… Because all of this trash out here needs to be cleaned up… All of it,” said Oliver.

His efforts are inspiring others kids. Kaelyn Yancey and Cole Manlackey — also five years old — counting their litter finds — up to more than 21 when we spoke with them.

The groups had one hour to pick up as much trash as possible and they found plenty. Ultimately the scale would be the judge.

“Most random item… Is there a prize for that? — For most random… I’ll give you a chicken dinner for that.”

With more than $3,500 worth of prizes on the line, the Gray family took the competition to the next level. Neck and neck — one at 26 pounds — the other at 28 pounds — they got another bag and raced back out with 15 minutes left in the competition.

“Whenever we can help out and make it a little fun between us as well… It makes things a lot more interesting,” said Mark Gray. — When asked who won? — “Team Mommy did… We won,” said Monica Gray.

And once all the numbers were in — the Gray’s would actually take 3rd and 1st place.

In all the rodeo — rounding up more than 576 pounds of litter in one hour.

“Did you expect to pick up this much trash? — Oliver: “I did.”

And thanks to all of Oliver’s new friends — the real winner is the environment.

Clean Horizons — has another litter rodeo scheduled at Pensacola Beach July 24th.

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