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Officials gearing up for annual cleanup

Everyone has items sitting on their property that they just haven’t found a time or reason to dispose of.

     That’s going to change starting in April, when the Great American Cleanup makes its way to Lincoln County.

     The cleanup will feature multiple 30-foot trash bins placed at different sites around the county during weekends in April and May for citizens to dispose of items they may not be able to fit in a trash can or take to the landfill, said Lincoln County Litter Control Coordinator Ronnie Durr.

     The Department of Environmental Quality, Magnolia Disposal Service and Keep Lincoln County Beautiful are sponsoring the event. Grant money from the DEQ to will fund the cleanup, according to Durr.

     “It costs between $4,000 and $6,000 per site since we’ve been doing it over the past 13 years, depending on the amount of stuff,” said Durr.

     Locations for the cleanup site will begin in East Lincoln between April 5-8 at the vacant lot on Monticello Street East of County Farm Road, followed by District Two from April 12-15 at the vacant lot at Newman Road and Old Highway 51.

     Bogue Chitto’s dates will be from April 19-22 at the corner of Highway 51 and Brister Street and the last in April will be West Lincoln from April 26-29 at the intersection of Jackson Liberty Road and West Lincoln Drive. The final cleanup date in Lincoln County will be Loyd Star at James Case’s store on California Road from May 3-6.

     The number of trash bins per site will vary based on the amount of space to put them in.

     “One site we might have eight dumpsters, but we may just have six in another just based on the area we have,” said Durr.

     The cleanup’s goal is to get rid of things people wouldn’t be able to dispose of otherwise and clean up their property.

     “We hope eventually we’ll get over the top and start going downhill with this, which will signify we’ve collected all that people want to get rid of,” Durr said.

     Items to put in the bins include furniture, mattresses, TVs, clothes, building materials, and similar items.

     Items to be placed on the ground next to the dumpsters are batteries, personal tires, refrigerators, air conditioners, stoves and like items.

     Durr said in the past his office has fielded many calls asking about the cleanup dates, but so far this year all has been quiet, which to him says that people have been able to get rid of things they need to dispose of.

     “But on the other hand, it might just explode with interest” said Durr. “You never know.”

     Durr said he doesn’t expect to see many goods like refrigerators because they’ve been expensive for people to buy lately. When it’s been time to get rid of them people have been taking them to salvage yards to sell for parts and not to the landfill.

     The bins are being provided by Magnolia Disposal Service. Items in the bins will be taken to a transfer station in Brookhaven before being disposed of in Sibley at the landfill there.

     Durr said the cleanup brings in all kinds of items, but the 2011 cleanup was unusual to him.

     “We took in a large number of fiberglass boats last year,” said Durr. “That was a first for me.”

     Durr said they’ve had pianos in the past, but the past few years have seen a large amount of TVs.

     “The number of TVs we took in last year was just unreal,” said Durr. “They seemed to just keep pouring in.”

     The cleanup does discourage oil and paint because those items cannot be taken to the landfill like most other things.

     One potential problem is scavenging. Durr said the cleanup sites seem attractive to many people to look for goods they might want to reuse or rebuild, but the bins are often filled with broken glass, boards with nails in them and other potentially dangerous items, which can be hazardous if someone tries to climb in them.

     “We don’t want anyone in there getting hurt,” Durr said. “The dumpsters are only for one purpose, and it’s not scavenging. The sites are viewed as an extension of a landfill, and it’s against state law to scavenge at a landfill.”