ATLANTA -- One homeowner raised her voice about deteriorating conditions in her community, and it got lots of attention.
Sherry Gaines, a resident of Adamsville on the western edge of Atlanta, said the trash situation in her neighborhood was "really bad."
"Sherry raised her voice, 11Alive heard it, and we took action," 11Alive's Matt Pearl said.
"It shouldn't be like this." Gaines said. "I went to school here -- elementary and high school. It's a great little area! And I'd like to see it clean."
But the neighborhood of Adamsville is peppered with trash everywhere.
Gaines took Pearl on a tour and they found trash like containers and bags from fast food restaurants that are nowhere near Adamsville.
Gaines contacted her councilman about the situation, but says she feels powerless to stop her community from falling apart around her.
"I think people just don't care. I see them just walking and throwing trash," she said.
Pearl got right on it. He took a tour of the neighborhood, then arranged for Gaines to meet Kathy Crawford, chair of her Neighborhood Planning Unit (NPU).
Gaines learned how to use Atlanta city resources to get her block clean, and take advantage of Atlanta's "Love your Block Grant."
But Pearl and 11Alive wanted to do more. He called in the 11Alive Help Desk and Bill Liss to lend a hand.
Liss reached out to Southern Waste and a companion company, IWS of Fairburn. It wasn't long before IWS mobilized its disposal and sanitation services.
"The whole idea is to clean up these streets, and we are delighted that IWS in Fairburn is out here to help these neighborhoods out," Liss said as a huge disposal truck pulled up near the Adamsville Public Library, fully-staffed and ready to go.
In just two hours, the crew -- with Sherry Gaines alongside -- filled bag after bag with scattered trash, cleaning up three of the neighborhood's dirtiest and most unsightly spots.
"Only a few minutes, and it's looking better already," Gaines said.
A committed citizen raising her voice and making a big difference in her community.
(IWS, Integrated Waste Solutions, serves Metro Atlanta communities with both residential and commercial waste disposal services and is involved with numerous recycling and recovery of resources programs)