Clean, Green & Pristine: How Green Team keeps Huntsville sparkling for visitors, residents

single-meta-cal February 6, 2018

The Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau’s #iHeartHsv campaign is in full swing. Visitors and residents alike can share their love for the Rocket City on social media by using the hashtag #iHeartHsv on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. To learn more about the campaign, read this post

Operation Green Team has been a Keep America Beautiful and Keep Alabama Beautiful affiliate since 1977. All of our resources are focused on making sure the City of Huntsville is CLEAN, in case you didn’t guess that by our phone number: 256-53-CLEAN. We know you’ve seen the Adopt-a-Mile signs and volunteers donned in lime-green vests picking up litter around the city. But, WHY do we do all that? Because we take pride in our city! Our businesses, schools and citizens care that our city is clean and litter free. We know that visitors to our community have a more enjoyable experience when Huntsville is pristine, too.

Highlighted below are five Green Team programming elements that exhibit how Huntsville goes green and encourages tourism to our out-of-this-world city!

Hays Nature Preserve

Hays Nature Preserve is bursting with beautiful nature views

Enjoy the Outdoors at J.D. and Annie S. Hays Nature Preserve and Goldsmith Schiffman Wildlife Sanctuary

Everyone should make it a priority to check out Hays Nature Preserve and Goldsmith Schiffman Wildlife Sanctuary. With approximately 1,000 acres of trails and Alabama beauty, these are must-sees for those who have lived here for years or are visiting Huntsville.

The Preserve is home to numerous trails for hiking, biking, running, or horseback riding. You can even enjoy canoeing or kayaking on the Flint River, which glides through the property. New access locations were added in 2017 to make those boating activities easier! There are countless free programs for all ages at the Preserve, like Play Days at Hays and Yoga by the River. The City’s annual Earth Day Festival, coming up on April 21, 2018, is hosted here. Fish for free at Bar Lake or enjoy the natural playground. The available activities are limitless. Read more about the Preserve in this City Blog post.

If finding peace and quiet in undisturbed nature is more your speed, head to Goldsmith-Schiffman Wildlife Sanctuary. You won’t find playgrounds here, just well-worn trails meandering through the sanctuary. It’s the perfect place for you to reconnect to your roots and find beauty in the world around us.

Litter Pickup

Operation Green Team works hard to remove litter from our streets. You can help by choosing not to litter.

Doing Our Part to Keep Huntsville Clean

Green Team’s primary goal is to prevent litter in Huntsville. Keeping our roads, parks, and downtown area clean makes our city more welcoming! We don’t take on this task by ourselves. Volunteers participate in neighborhood cleanups and our Adopt-A-Mile program to make their space in Huntsville sparkle. We encourage citizens to do their part and pick up what they see!

As Downtown has become more vibrant, especially with our newly renovated Big Spring Park, it’s increasingly important that we keep it beautiful. The Downtown Team is responsible for maintaining the overall appearance of Downtown Huntsville. This team picks up litter, participates in seasonal landscaping and makes sure occasional graffiti doesn’t tarnish the area.

Green Team also partners with local organizations to make sure events like Panoply and Whistlestop are litter free. We work with organizers to ensure recycling and trash containers are placed throughout the event. Green Team and volunteers work together to keep these events litter free so attendees can enjoy themselves!




Recycling these small, plastic bottle caps has a big impact on keeping Huntsville green.

Get Your Recycle On

Recycling in Huntsville is simple. If you’re not sure what to put in your blue bins, check the Solid Waste Disposal Authority’s detailed list . Beyond home recycling, Green Team also encourages recycling at events around town. We loan recycling containers for events and encourage organizers to work with local waste haulers. Loaning free bins encourages recycling and cuts down on litter.

"The Claw" at the Solid Waste Disposal Authority of the City of Huntsville

“The Claw” at the Solid Waste Disposal Authority of the City of Huntsville

Reducing and Reusing – Energy-from-Waste Facility

Did you know that Huntsville has an Energy-from-Waste facility? It’s the only facility of its kind in Alabama. According to the Solid Waste Disposal Authority, “The facility is designed to process up to 690 tons per day of municipal solid waste, commercial waste and limited amounts of dried sewage sludge. [It] reduces waste volumes by approximately 90%.”

The ash that results from the incineration of household trash is used at the Huntsville Landfill. After the metal is extracted from the ash, it can be used as landfill cover or can be buried there. Steam produced at the facility is shipped to Redstone Arsenal through seven miles of insulated pipeline, where it is used for the heating and cooling of some of their facilities. Talk about reduce, reuse, recycle…

Photo from the Tree Planting Festival

Plant a tree at the City’s annual Tree Planting Festival at John Hunt Park

Green is Good for the Soul

Everyone loves to admire trees and pleasant landscaping. Landscape Management aims to continuously beautify the city. They were a massive part of the Big Spring Park remodel and, along with Green Team, they encourage organizations to invest in their property’s appearance, making our city even more appealing.

As is evident, keeping Huntsville beautiful and green is an ongoing effort. We can’t do it alone. There are 80,000 volunteers who help Green Team with a variety of programs. Sign up online or call 256-53-CLEAN to join others who take pride in this city. If you’d like to tour the energy-from-waste facility with your organization, please call us. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and learn more ways that you can keep Huntsville CLEAN.