Buda volunteers gather 200 pounds of trash on Earth Day

By Sahar Chmais 

Buda residents gathered around 200 pounds of trash during the revived Buda Trash Off program. 

Over 50 volunteers, adults and children, banded together to remove trash from Buda’s creeks and ponds to celebrate Earth Day. Unlike 2019,when 78 volunteers met at City Hall to get the effort going, this year volunteers coordinated virtually and removed trash in their communities. 

“I participated in Buda Trash Off 2019,” said Cheryl Moczygemba, Buda resident. “When I saw it was happening again I asked a friend I fish with if he would pick up trash with me at the Walmart fishing pond on Cabela’s Drive. He agreed. So he, another woman, my husband and I committed to picking up trash there. For about an hour each day, in four days, four people collected 42 pounds of trash!” 

The Trash Off was paused in 2020 due to the pandemic, and this year it looked a little different. In 2019, Blake Farrar who serves on the Sustainability Commission, said the volunteers gathered 600 pounds of trash. While there was not as much trash gathered this year, it could mean there was less trash to gather, Farrar said. 

It was great to see families and kids going out to help clean the creeks community members play in, he added. Similar clean up initiatives will occur at least once a year, but the goal is to instill a sense of pride, respect and responsibility in the community, Farrar told the Hays Free Press/News-Dispatch. 

Moczygemba has been holding that responsibility even before the Trash Off; she has been picking up trash in her neighborhood since 2018, prior to this event. These efforts might not always be seen in action, but they are definitely felt by the community. 

“I do think about how I am creating a nicer place for people to fish,” said Moczygemba, “even though they don’t know it.”

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Sahar Chmais holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. She has been covering cities in Hays County for one year, touching on residents' struggles and successes, city issues, COVID-19 and more. Prior to reporting on the local spectrum, Sahar reported for a national news organization, covering gun violence. Sahar enjoys working as a local reporter because she gets to work with real people and their stories.

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