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Trash Time Again

He maneuvered the giant shovel as if he were on a playground. Hejumped down from the tractor after dumping a mound of trash intohis trailer, and from the looks of things, he would be therecleaning up for a while.

“Gosh, I love this job,” said Solid Waste Coordinator RonnieDurr.

On Monday, Durr began picking up after the first round of theKeep Lincoln County Beautiful event, Dumpster Days. Dumpster Dayskicked off this year at a site on Monticello Street near CountyFarm Road.

The function gives area residents a chance to dispose ofunwanted items that are normally a hassle to get rid of. The eventhas been occurring annually across Lincoln County for about adecade.

“The first one really takes off,” said Keep Lincoln CountyBeautiful member and event organizer Homer Richardson. “I think wegot a really good response and people were doing their best to putthings in the dumpster.”

Judging by the full dumpsters and the mountains of garbagesurrounding the large containers, Durr said about 52.5 tons ofgarbage had been collected during the first weekend of theevent.

“If we don’t get it here, we might pick it up somewhere in thecounty – and that’s not good,” said Durr.

While the massive amount of waste was impressive, Durr said thegarbage total is down from last year.

“I keep saying every year, I hope it goes down, I hope it goesdown,” said Durr. “Maybe this will be the year it goes(downhill).”

The site was like a dirty museum. The dumpsters and ground werelittered with old furniture, magazines that displayed celebritiesfrom the 1980s, eight-track tapes, giant TVs, a boat and even aplayer piano.

“Where these things come from, I do not know,” said Durr.

While the old saying may be true, officials want these treasuresto remain trash. Most of the items are of no use and trying toclimb into the dirty landscape or pick out a few items may causeinjury. Therefore, scavenging is prohibited during the DumpsterDays events.

“While you’re rummaging around you’re also there where there arenails, boards and who knows what in some of that stuff,” saidRichardson.

In addition to the safety hazard the dumpster sites impose onpickers, poking around can lead to much harder work for thosetrying to remove the waste. As items are pulled apart they begin tomove further and further from the bins, making it harder and harderto clean up.

“We have to police it and keep it as best we can,” said Durr.”No scavenging.”

The tons of trash collected will be headed for a landfill inSibley in Adams County and the 1,500 to 2,000 tires acquired willbe transported to Jackson, where they will be recycled.

“They’re difficult to get rid of and you can’t bury them in theground,” Durr said of the tires.

There is no need to worry for those who were unable to unload atthe first site.

“We have four more weeks of pure misery,” joked Durr.

The bins will move on April 14 to District Two at theintersection of Howard and Brignall roads. District Three will getthe bins on April 21 in Bogue Chitto at the intersection of Highway51 and Brister Street and District Four will follow on April 28 atthe intersection of Jackson-Liberty Road and West LincolnDrive.

The final cleanup location will open on May 5 in District Fiveat James Case’s store on California Road.

Moving the bins around will hopefully give everyone in LincolnCounty a chance to properly dispose of unwanted items.

“That was the whole idea, to make it as convenient as we couldso people didn’t have an excuse to not clean it up and get it outthere,” said Richardson.

If possible, trash should go inside the bins.

However, if the bins are full or items are too large to belifted, garbage should be placed beside the containers. This willallow Durr’s machine, which has been in use since 2000, to do whatit does best.

“I use to try and keep up with (the amount of garbage) over theyears, but I got hand cramps and ran out of paper,” joked Durr.