The Worthys will clean that bridge when they come to it

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, May 16, 2023

SALISBURY — Sometimes doing the right thing doesn’t have to be a big spectacle in order to be effectual. For husband and wife, Carol and Acey Worthy, taking the time to pick up trash and keeping their street clean is their way of not letting the beauty around them get overtaken by litter.

“It’s just a little bit of clean up. Take a walk around your neighborhood, pick up a little bit of garbage now and then, you’d be surprised at the difference,” Acey said.

The Worthys first started picking up trash in California before they moved to Salisbury in 2011. They now live on East Bank Street next to a bridge and are making it their job to throw away any litter that people toss out of their car windows. The Worthys go out several times day to pick up any trash they see. They think by regularly cleaning up, it has gotten others to start thinking about how their own neighborhood or yards look.

“We already picked up litter this morning,” Carol said. “I think in a way it’s contagious, but you will always have people who are just going to throw stuff out.”

Besides making the community look nicer, preventing litter can also make it safer. After enough build up, trash can cause issues for nearby residents depending how the weather cooperates.

“When people throw garbage out their window, maybe an empty water bottle or McDonald’s cup or something, it will eventually get down into the drainage…It backs up the drains. When it rains, all of a sudden right around where the storm drains are you’re going to have a big, little lake,” Acey said.

A few weeks ago, the city of Salisbury put an “Adopt-A-Street” sign on East Bank Street to commemorate the work the Worthys have done. The Worthys still pick up trash whenever they see it around town or anywhere else they go. How a single street looks may not sound like that big of a deal, but for anyone experiencing Salisbury for the first time, it can change how they think of the city. It looks like the Worthys are making sure Salisbury’s true colors are the first thing people notice instead.

“When you go some place, the things you see is the impression you get of either that city or sometimes that state. From where you are and what you see, if you keep your area cleaner it gives a better representation to anybody passing through of what your town is like,” Acey said.