Cleanup effort off to slower start

Published 8:00 pm Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The first weekend of the Great American Cleanup in Lincoln County went well, though the levels of trash collected went down this year.

     Keep Lincoln County Beautiful and county officials are hosting the annual events, which give local residents the chance to dump off items that may be otherwise difficult to discard, including furniture, scrap lumber and tires.

     The first weekend focused on District One, and the dumping site was located on Monticello Street.

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     Next up, a vacant lot on Newman Road and Old Highway 51 will be available for dumping April 12-15.

     Over the first weekend, the county collected three overflow loads, said Lincoln County Litter Control Coordinator Ronnie Durr. Durr estimated about 12 overflow loads were hauled off last year from the same site.

     “That seems to be an indicator we’re over the hill,” Durr said. “Easter might have had some effect, but I don’t think it did.”

     Durr added, however, that dumping levels tend to be highly variable from year to year.

     Most of the trash collected included familiar items like furniture and televisions, though, there was a pair of unusual dropoffs: two fiberglass ski boats.

     “They were worn out,” Durr said.

     Durr did notice many more tires than usual were dumped.

     The tires won’t just be discarded; they were hauled off by Southern Tire Recycling. Durr said the tires will be chopped up and used to make mud flaps, steering wheels, playground equipment and similiar items.

     Durr also said a lot of paint and oil was dropped off at the site.

     Less items means quicker cleanup. The site wasn’t completely cleaned until Wednesday last year, but Durr was putting the final touches on the site Tuesday morning.

     “We’ve raked it down, run a magnet over it,” Durr said.

     Durr thanked everyone who brought materials to the site, and encouraged the rest of the county to take advantage of the other weekends planned. He reminded residents to come only during the advertised hours and not to dump materials on the site afterward.

     “Sometimes, people try to get away with that,” Durr said.

     Scavenging is also not allowed on the sites.

     The Newman Road and Old Highway 51 site is an unfamiliar location; the county has never had a dumping site there before. Durr said this may slow participation some, but he expects most people to be able to figure out where it is.

     Durr said the site has been prepared and the trash bins will be brought in about 7 a.m. Thursday.