ALBANY PARK — The Albany Park Neighbors group is set to launch its first assault against litter on Saturday, declaring war on the neighborhood's "trashtastic" reputation.
The group's litter and beautification committee is recruiting volunteers to join its inaugural spring cleaning effort, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Saturday. Meet at the Starbucks, 4830 N. Pulaski Road, to receive marching orders. Participants are encouraged to bring work gloves.
The initial push will focus on Pulaski Road and Lawrence and Kedzie avenues, designed for maximum impact and visibility for the organization, according to committee member Eric Philson.
"We want [people] to know we're watching," he said. "It also gives us a chance to talk to business owners and strike up some informal partnerships."
The April event is intended to serve as a trial run for the group's Mega Cleanup, scheduled for May 18 (time and location to be determined).
"The whole purpose is to get a feel for what our capacity is in terms of time and resources. We're trying to see what we can accomplish," said Philson, whose personal favorite piece of trash was the garbage bin tossed into his yard.
In May, Albany Park Neighbors aims to spread its anti-litter campaign to side streets, asking residents to adopt a block and sign an anti-litter pledge.
In the long term, the group hopes to educate residents about the negative impact of litter and the impression it creates of the neighborhood, said Shylo Bisnett, who organized Albany Park Neighbors in 2012.
"They make a lasting mark on the neighborhood with every piece of gum and wrapper they leave on the sidewalk," Bisnett said.
Follow Albany Park Neighbors on Facebook for more information and updates.