Louisville man cleaning up Beechmont finds muddy American flag, needles near school

Louisville man cleaning up Beechmont finds muddy American flag, needles near school

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A man in Louisville's Beechmont neighborhood put out a call on social media for his neighbors to help pick up trash.

"Don't that look a lot better?" William Totman, who was speaking in a video he posted to social media, said.

The video tour Totman takes viewers on shows that the grass, now, mostly clear of garbage, didn't always look so green. ​

"There's another problem," Totman said. "More needles. There's more needles over there."​

He said in the video he made it a goal to clean up his neighborhood near an overpass on Cliff Avenue near the Watterson Expressway, but he wasn’t thrilled with what he found.

"Four or five needles," Totman said as he looked at them in a box. "School right there. This place is a problem." ​

In the video, Totman warns people whose children might walk to the nearby school and those who might bring pets through the area.

He said he wants to see a hole in the fence fixed so people can’t use or toss needles under the walkway.

While the dangerous syringes may be startling, he said there's one other thing he found that was eye-opening during his cleanup. ​

"I claim to be a soldier on a mission, and I'll be darned," he said. "Look what's in that garbage right there."​

Totman reached down to pick up the item.

"An American flag, y'all," he said.

He then took the flag off the ground, not far from the needles he said are hurting his community

"This is our country," he said. "Let’s take it back."​

Totman organized his cleanup on his own, but Louisville organizations can help others who want to pick up trash in their neighborhood, too.

Those at Brightside said people can contact them if they want to organize a community cleanup. In turn, the group can help provide gloves and trash bags.

Brightside leaders said if someone finds needles, broken glass or dead animals while cleaning up their neighborhood, its best to avoid them. Those cleaning up can call 3-1-1 to find out what to do. However, if a needle is in a dangerous place and absolutely needs to be moved, the group suggests putting it in a glass bottle with a metal top so it doesn’t end up pricking its way out of a trash bag.

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