Al Yougel (right) and Keep Peachtree City Beautiful are living up to their name with tireless hard work.
Al Yougel (right) and Keep Peachtree City Beautiful are living up to their name with tireless hard work.

By Amy Scott

Dedicated residents are making sure PTC stays shining like a gem with Keep Peacthree City Beautiful.

Keep Peachtree City Beautiful is the local chapter of the larger organization of Keep America Beautiful. Keep PTC Beautiful is unique in the state in that they have never once asked for a grant, while also remaining independent from the City Government. Al Yougel, the Executive Director, prides himself in the organization’s ability to find other ways to fund all of the activities which keep Peachtree city clean and pleasant for all citizens.

Since March of 2008, the city council and city management has fully supported the push to beautify Peachtree City, and with additional help from the municipal court, real progress was made. Probationers given community service hours by the court are able to fulfill them under the supervision of Yougel and other employees at the Public Works building. Overall, they average about 1800 community service hours a month, and over 19,000 hours annually.

The city council has also helped Keep PTC Beautiful through requiring waste haulers to provide free recycling transport, which has been crucial in increasing recycling from about 1% to 26% in just a few years. The organization is also in charge of keeping 97 miles of cart path and 88 miles of street litter free. Additionally, they provide all of the recycling opportunities at events around the city.

Keep PTC Beautiful oversees the compost site, which is open on Wednesday from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

“The staff there does practically everything for you,” Yougel says. “I don’t understand why more people don’t do it, when they unload your leaves and stuff, grind it up, then let you pick it up as free mulch to put in your yard.”

Yougel hopes to expand into the schools, and has already set up recycling stations in 10 out of the 11 in Peachtree City. His goal is to teach the youth about the importance of recycling so that he will raise a generation aware of the environmental benefits recycling creates. Yougel firmly believes that the key to success is to have an “eagle” in each place, whether it is a school, business, or church, that will push change in the community, and also watch to make sure everything is accomplished.