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Blight-fighting team starts summer work cleaning county

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — For a second year in a row, Shelby County officials are working with local youth to help flight blight here in the Mid-South.

Training started for the 100 young people hired by the county mayor’s office who will work in teams to pick up trash throughout the summer.

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell says the magnitude of the problem may not be known to everyone who lives here, but last summer, blight teams picked up 52 tons of trash.

Mayor Luttrell says he hopes it’s about more than paying some young people to just do a job. He wants them to see the benefits of their work and how it can last the rest of their lives.

“We hope that they’ll be ambassadors in the community and to those that they’re around, whether in their neighborhood or their home, their school. And they’ll talk about the importance of stashing your trash appropriately and disposing of it in the right ways,” Luttrell said.

Mayor Luttrell says he hopes his successors will expand the program in the future.