Cleanup campaign off to good start

Published 5:00 am Friday, April 3, 2009

Charles Cole knows how to take advantage of a good offer.

With his Jeep Cherokee parked by the great industrial trash binon Monticello Street Thursday, he popped the rear hatch and beganheaving large cardboard boxes and bags of junk into the receptacle,feeding the early success of this year’s Great AmericanCleanup.

“It’s a fine thing,” he said. “Everybody’s got trash they needto get rid of, and this is a good chance to get rid of it withoutpaying a lot of money and hauling it somewhere.”

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The yearly event began Thursday morning in District One and gotoff to a quick start, with trash-bringers depositing small bags oftrash and large, defunct washing machines. Activity at the site wasbrisk even before the second of two bins was placed.

Lincoln County Litter Control Coordinator Ronnie Durr said bothbins filled up around noon and had to be dumped, and they were wellon their way to filling up again by Friday morning.

“I’m looking forward to a good cleanup, as always,” he said. “Ithink we’re off to a good start.”

Durr said Thursday’s passing thunderstorms likely slowed theevent down a little, as the pair of bins provided for the cleanupby Magnolia Disposal Service would normally have to be dumpedtwice.

“But that’s the way it generally happens – you get a little slowstart, but there’ll be people hauling stuff in there probably ’tilldark,” he said. “But that’s what it’s there for.”

The trash bins will remain in place on Monticello Street, justeast of County Farm Road, until Monday morning, when they will behauled away and dumped. Next Thursday morning, the bins will beplaced in District Two at the Brignall Precinct voting location atthe intersection of Brignall and Howard roads.

On Thursday, April 16, the bins will be placed in District Threeat the intersection of Highway 51 and Brister Street in BogueChitto. On April 23, the bins go to the intersection ofJackson-Liberty Road and West Lincoln Drive in District Four, andDistrict Five will host the bins at Jack Case’s store on CaliforniaRoad beginning April 30.

There’s plenty to get rid of, and not everyone is waiting forthe bins to come to them.

“This is a good event – it keeps the junk out of the county,”said Wayne Bessonett, who lives near Mallalieu Drive, as he addedhis own stack of old, rotted tires to the cleanup’s tire pile.”You’ll see this crap laying out on the road without it. You can’thardly throw old tires away.”

For East Lincoln’s Harold Bradford, taking advantage of the GACallows him to dispose of heavy metal goods without having to puthis tires at risk at the scrap yard.

“I’d get four flats going out there,” he said. “I love it – thisis the best idea Lincoln County has ever had.”

Kendrick Tucker looks at the safety of the cleanup from adifferent angle.

“Old furniture and stuff is hard to get rid of, and people stackit around the house and barn and it gets snakes in it,” he said.”The children get around it and it gets dangerous. It’s safer to doit like this.”

Many of the cleanup’s participants said they would like to seethe cleanup more often. Roger Roberts said the event should be heldat least twice per year.

“Maybe next week I’ll have an old refrigerator I need to get ridof,” he said.

Homer Richardson, a member of Keep Lincoln County Beautiful -the organization that sponsors the cleanup – said the event isfunded through a grant and can’t be held twice annually. Hopefully,one day it won’t even be necessary, he said.

“I think we all would like to be able to do it more often, butthe hope is that, eventually, we get less and less of thismaterial,” Richardson said. “Ideally, you’d like it where peopledon’t have to haul off any more stuff. Of course, that’s nevergoing to happen.”