Savannah Trash Warriors began in August of 2018 when two co-workers at Gulfstream, Stacey Fuller and Jenna Bower, decided to take action against litter in their neighborhoods. In the year and a half that they’ve been organizing cleanup, the Trash Warriors have:
- Organized 50+ litter pickup events
- Picked up over 1,000 buckets of trash
- Picked up over 500 buckets of recycling
- Volunteered over 400 hours
- & saved the city an estimated $9,635.00 (The monetary value of hours worked comes from a statistic from United Way of the Coastal Empire that one volunteer hour in Georgia is valued at $25.)
Before Trash Warriors even had a name, the two friends would take turns going to each other neighborhoods (Thomas Square and South Historic District) every other weekend to cleanup litter. During cleanups and coffee shop meetings on Saturday mornings, the two would discuss how they might create a bigger impact on litter and waste in the city of Savannah.
Bower, a recent graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design’s Design for Sustainability program, knew that litter pickup was a last-ditch effort in a long string of overconsumption and waste issues to keep plastic and other single-use items out of storm drains and local waterways. In order to make a bigger impact on litter not ending up in the ocean or in a landfill, the two have decided to reach out to neighborhood associations and other passionate litter pickers in Savannah to coordinate a collective impact.
Savannah Trash Warriors goal as an organization is to work with as many neighborhoods and other stakeholders in Savannah as possible in order to create a movement around litter and waste that is visible, consistent and inclusive. Savannah Trash Warriors aims to raise awareness and educate about the effects of litter and of the system of waste production; to foster a collaborative effort to tackle these issues in Savannah; and to empower communities to come together and make change.
Savannah Trash Warriors meet once a month to cleanup. They work with neighborhood associations and residents to organize cleanups and get residents out to the events. While they hope that residents are already passionate about the neighborhood in which they live, they also want to foster a Savannah in which different neighborhoods can come together and support one another.
In the future, Savannah Trash Warriors would like to tackle projects that have an impact further up the waste-pipeline, such as conducting brand audits of litter found on Savannah’s streets, organizing a send-back program to return litter to the companies that created it in order to hold them responsible, and to partner with schools, businesses and neighborhoods associations to provide educational presentations about what can be done to tackle waste and overconsumption.
If you can’t make it to any cleanups, but still want to participate, you can join their litter pickup challenge on Litterati. Click here for details.
To get involved with organizing or attending cleanups, join the Savannah Trash Warriors Group on Facebook or visit savannahtrashwarriors.org for more details.