County cleanup set for May 2

Published 10:22 am Monday, January 19, 2009

LAWRENCE COUNTY — Help wanted: must be willing to make Lawrence County prettier and cleaner. Hard work a job hazard; trash bags supplied.

May 2 has been designated Lawrence County’s first ever county-wide cleanup day. Dan Palmer, director of the Lawrence-Scioto Solid Waste Management District, said he hopes to involve people and groups throughout the county in the effort to spruce up their communities.

“So far, we’ve talked to Operation TLC and Billie Smith has agreed. Stephanie (Helms, SWMD education coordinator) will work with her. We’re asking schools churches and civic groups to come on board,” he said.

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Palmer said efforts to clean up litter and dirty areas of the county are beginning to pay off and he is seeing a dramatic increase in recycling since the solid waste program was begin a few years ago. He said in December, 186 tons of recyclable materials was collected at the more than dozen recycling sites throughout the county. That is, he said, a more than 251 percent increase over what was collected in 2003, the first year the program was offered in the county.

“This is phenomenal growth,” Palmer said. “Even the E.P.A. has realized it. We are working on adding more recycling containers in some places.”

In 2008, the SWMD litter crew spent 3,618 man hours picking up more than 4,000 bags of trash. During the recent Christmas tree collection event, 129 real Christmas trees were collected and taken to Lake Vesuvius for fish habitat. The Wayne National Forest partnered with the solid waste district in that effort.