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Communities urged to help clean up nation

A call is being sent out to all Lincoln County residents todevelop habits of improvement for the community and to make it abeautiful place to live and visit.

“The old saying that ‘you only have one chance to make a firstimpression’ is really true when it comes to trash, so we needeveryone to make a committed effort to stop littering and pick uptrash when they see it,” said Homer Richardson, ex-officio of KeepLincoln County Beautiful.

During the Great American Cleanup 2002, communities across thenation are asked to do their part to bring this country closer tobeing litter-free.

Keep Lincoln County Beautiful is sponsoring a county-widecleanup from April 15-27.

All residents of Lincoln County, including Brookhaven, are askedto clean up any trash on their property and stop throwing garbageout along the roadways.

“The end result that we are striving for is that the litternever gets there in the first place,” said Barbara Mercier, littercoordinator for Mississippi Department of Transportation(MDOT).

MDOT officials and law enforcement officers can become involvedin the effort by issuing citations and warnings to people caughtlittering.

Anyone who sees another person littering on a public roadway cancall local authorities or *47 on their cellular phone to report theincident by providing authorities with the location, vehicle tagnumber and/or description of the violator. They may also reportincidents to Keep Mississippi Beautiful at (601) 362-9099, saidKLCB representatives.

Residents can also help make Lincoln County a more beautifulplace by picking up litter, no matter how small or large, becauseevery bit makes a difference, said Jimminette Phillips, chairman ofKLCB.

Phillips encourages people not to look at another person to dothe job or blame the litter on someone else because that would nothelp the “bad litter situation” in Lincoln County.

“We as a people have to make it clean,” she said. “We’ve got tostop thinking that someone else will do it. We’ve got to takeaction.”

Residents can select an area for cleanup and get a group ofvolunteers to “set aside a little time to help make that area aplace to be proud of when they finish,” said Richardson.

Trash bags, provided by KLCB, can be picked up at the CountyBarn, located at 1211 Old Highway 51 near the Industrial Park Roadintersection.

Richardson hopes to get a count on the areas cleaned, the numberof people involved and the amount of trash collected by havingpeople report their activities at (601) 833-4126.

Residents who pick up litter during the Great American Cleanupcan dispose of the bags of collected litter at the County Barn.

In Brookhaven, residents can place garbage items, which includehousehold waste, food, fabric, glass, plastic, cardboard boxes andpaper, in garbage containers near the roadway for pick-up, saidJames Arnold, solid waste supervisor for Brookhaven.

Jo Beth Thompson, co-chairman of KLCB, pointed out that theimportance of placing garbage in containers that cannot be torninto by animals, which can create a further mess.

Limbs, stumps, asphalt, insulation, ceiling tile, floor tile,sheet rock, untreated wood and roof shingles, all of which willeventually decompose, should be placed in a separate pile forpick-up in the city unless the debris comes from contracted work,said Arnold.

Furniture items like mattresses, tables, stoves, dishwashers,deep freezers, recliners and couches can be picked up by the cityfor a charge of $5 per item, Arnold explained.

All tires in the city or county should be taken to the CountyBarn for proper disposal. Hazardous waste should be stored andturned in during the county-wide hazardous waste cleanup day nextyear, said Richardson.

Studies in the county show that roadside litter collected duringthe first quarter of 2002 doubled from the first quarter of lastyear, said Ronnie Durr, litter control coordinator for LincolnCounty.

He complimented the efforts of J.R. Beard and the Lincoln CountyJail Work Crew, which picks up trash on a regular basis.

On Friday, they collected 150 bags of trash and 50 tires, buttheir efforts are pointless when people continue to litter, saidDurr.

“People think littering is giving the inmates something to do,but really they (inmates) could be working somewhere else if peopledidn’t throw trash out,” he added.