One New Mexico mom has had enough of illegal dumping in her community. When she couldn’t get anyone to listen, she took matters into her own hands. She’s now calling on others to step up.
“It seemed like someone cleaned their yard and dumped it right there in the middle of the mountain,” said Kathleen Alirez.
It’s a hard sight to look at—trash covering the mountainside near Montezuma’s Pond in San Miguel County.
The Las Vegas mom took to Facebook to complain about the litter, but sick of nothing being done to clean it up, the social media site also provided a solution: the viral “Trashtag Challenge.”
“I got inspired and I said, you know what? I’m going to do it, and I’m going to use it as a lesson to teach my kids that this is not the way we should live,” said Alirez.
The Trashtag Challenge is one of the latest online trends. It encourages people to go out in their communities to pick up tossed garbage, posting before and after pictures of the transformations.
She even got some of her other friends and their kids involved too.
“They loved it. They would tell us, ‘There’s trash over here!’” said Alirez. “I felt like a good role model to them.”
“This is our only earth, so it’s honestly like the best challenge we’ve ever started on the internet,” said Jessica Rogers, Alirez’s friend.
It turned into a two-day event, collecting several trash bags full of garbage.
“If you have the time to sit there and complain about it, you can do something about it,” said Alirez.
“I’m seven months pregnant, I’m due in August. So if I can get up and go and do it, I’m sure other people can too,” said Katie Frausto, Alirez’s friend.
They’re hoping they can inspire other communities across New Mexico to take up the challenge.
“We want to challenge New Mexico to take on the challenge to see what they can do,” said Frausto.
“Some people might think, ‘Oh, it’s just one person,’ but if we all get together, that could be like, millions of people and it could make a big difference,” said Rogers.
If caught illegally dumping in San Miguel County, you can face a fine up to $500.