Volusia County mother fed up with litter plans trash cleanup event

'I think it's extremely important that we have a clean neighborhood,' woman says

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. – A New Smyrna Beach mother who is fed up with litter lining the streets of her neighborhood plans to host a trash pickup event Saturday.

Ashley Lilje said she walks her children to and from school every day being careful to dodge glass, bags of trash and needles. She said she can't even walk 10 feet without encountering some sort of rubbish.

"In the median, next to my house, I found a hypodermic needle, which is extremely disturbing. That was my moment of realizing that this is everybody's problem," Lilje said.

Realizing that the pollution problem was getting better rather than worse, she decided to take matters into her own hands and rally the community behind her cleanup cause.

On Tuesday, Lilje created the Concerned Citizens Cleanup Crew of South Volusia Facebook group in hopes of organizing trash pick up events in New Smyrna Beach, Edgewater and Oak Hill. 

"For a place that is really highly based on our tourism and the money we bring in here, I think it's extremely important that we have a clean neighborhood and a safe neighborhood for our children," Lilje said.

Anyone is welcome to join the Facebook group and participate in neighborhood cleanups. The first event is scheduled for Saturday, when volunteers will collect waste along Wayne Avenue, Pecan Drive, Ronnoc Lane and Myrtle Avenue.

An exact time has not been established, but anyone interested in attending is asked to join the Facebook group and check back there for updates.

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