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2011 cleanup campaign produces good results

It’s no secret: Lincoln County is dirty. However, when countyresidents were given the opportunity to get rid of unwanted items,spring-cleaning turned into spring fever as area residents dumpedtons of trash.

As part of the Great American Cleanup, county officials set up sixdifferent waste collection sites beginning April 2 in Brookhavenand ending May 9 in Loyd Star. Event administrators collected 279.1tons of waste.

“Overall, I’m pleased with it,” said Lincoln County Litter ControlCoordinator Ronnie Durr of Dumpster Days’ turnout. “We’re stillgetting calls from people wanting to know where the dumpsters arethis week.”

The 279.1 tons of waste collected this year is a few tons shy ofthe 283.81 tons collected in 2010, but falling short of theprevious mark has Durr hopeful.

“Any decrease shows that maybe we’re making a little progress,”said Durr. “Next year there ain’t no telling what there mightbe.”

As a precursor to Dumpster Days, a Hazardous Waste Collection Daysponsored by Keep Lincoln County Beautiful was held at the citydump on April 2. The collection day provided members of thecommunity a chance to properly dispose of dangerous chemicals andother hazardous materials.

“That helped us get rid of a lot of stuff that would have wound upin the dumpsters,” said Homer Richardson, Keep Lincoln CountyBeautiful member and Hazardous Waste Day organizer.

Keep Lincoln County Beautiful collected 3.93 tons of waste duringthe special event, including almost two tons of electrical garbageand 2,116 pounds of poisons.

“All in all a good year,” said Richardson. “I think people havebeen very thoughtful in cleaning up their areas.”

During Dumpster Days, which began April 7 on Monticello Street,several large containers were moved through five districts inLincoln County.

Durr said they place the dumpsters according to where they mightserve the most amount of people.

“We try to make these things as convenient as we possibly can sopeople can get in and out and not have a traffic jam in there,”said Durr.

The first stop on the dirty trail brought in the most trash.Officials collected 80.31 tons of garbage from the dumpsterslocated on Monticello Street.

“I think people really find themselves with this program filling agap that is not easy to fill,” said Richardson. “You can only holdthis stuff for so long and you realize you have to get rid ofit.”

While hauling waste to the city dump would normally cost a prettypenny to residents, the grant-funded collection days come at nocost to community members.

“Anything more than once a year would be tough financially,” saidDurr.

As the collection days made a dent into cleaning up the county,Richardson thinks that once people begin to get involved in keepingtheir neighborhoods beautiful, they may be more likely to keeptheir areas tidy.

“I think the overall effect is it is going to be a cleaner LincolnCounty and make people more sensitive to litter they may find ontheir roads or in their neighborhoods,” said Richardson.