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Local group picks up litter and keeps waterways clean

MERTH recently cleaned up a garbage patch and picked up litter from a local waterway but the work is not done when it comes to keeping Huntsville clean.

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Both litter and homelessness are big issues themselves, but there can be a tie between the two. One local group is working to keep Huntsville clean.

"Generally when you camp, any one of us would camp in the woods, we go to the woods, we set up camp, we put our tent up, we do our thing, wake up in the morning, clean up our camp and leave - no litter, nothing. So, the longer you live at a place, the more things you accumulate, so basically the accumulation of goods and the donations that flood into the homeless community are part of the problem because no one is there collecting the waste, there is no end cycle to the waste. It's just like things get dumped into the environment and it stays there, homeless people get evicted from their camps, their camp stays there and all their stuff just stays there," said James Spagnola, founder of MERTH.

RELATED: 'Operation Green Team', volunteers clean up Oakwood Avenue

MERTH stands for Managed Ecological Remediation Teams/Helpers.

Last week, MERTH and Model Environment came together to clean up a garbage patch and waterway.

This fringe litter not only pollutes wooded areas but also finds its way into waterways. Spagnola combats this issue by cleaning it up but has other solutions in mind too.

RELATED: Nonprofit group removes 1,400 pounds of aquatic litter from local creek

"My main objective, as the founder of MERTH, is to basically consult with the city and work with the city in trying to clean up the waterways, monitor homeless activity and monitor points of, influx of litter and you know, there's a lot of these parking lot drains that could use litter traps and there's a lot of these businesses that could use more strict environmental compliance surrounding their dumpsters and their parking lot maintenance. So it's these issues that need to be addressed now," said Spagnola.

And to get it all done, MERTH needs volunteers, so if you are interested in keeping Huntsville clean and want to do your part visit the MERTH Facebook page for more information on how to get involved and upcoming clean-up events.

RELATED: Years' worth of litter was removed from Buzzard Roost Road