February 7, 2014

Citizens of the Week: Steve and Beth Laird

The Daily Citizen

— For about the past six years, Dalton residents Steve and Beth Laird have carried garbage bags with them on their daily walks from the their subdivision on Dug Gap Road out to Walnut Avenue.

Their daily tasks? Picking up litter along the way, then taking it back home where they sort the recyclable items from garbage and dispose of or recycle each as appropriate. The Lairds were recognized at Monday’s Dalton City Council meeting by the council, the Dalton-Whitfield Solid Waste Authority and Keep Dalton-Whitfield Beautiful with a certificate for their work.

“I won’t say that they’re out there during a heavy downpour, but if it’s just a light rain or something like that, they’re out there everyday,” said Norman Barashick, director of the Solid Waste Authority. “That’s definitely the kind of personal commitment and responsibility to the community that warranted recognition.”

Steve Laird works at Shaw Industries and is a member of the Dalton Board of Education. Beth Laird teaches at Dalton Middle School.

Barashick said that while there are many groups who volunteer to collect litter periodically, he isn’t aware of other individuals who have done so this long and with such consistency. He said he is working to identify others who may also deserve recognition.

The Lairds have been at their task for so long that at least a couple of local businesses have jumped on board. Barashick said the couple know a few business owners who allow them to ditch their trash bags in their dumpsters if they get too full, just so they don’t have to carry them the entire way home on days when they have a big load.

“They just do this completely on their own with no expectations of reward or recognition,” Barashick said.

For their efforts to beautify the community, The Daily Citizen names Steve and Beth Laird Citizens of the Week.