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Groups lining up for May cleanup day

They all want to talk trash … all over the county.

Lawrence-Scioto Solid Waste Management District Director Dan Palmer said the list of organizations that have agreed to participate in the second annual Lawrence County Cleanup Day on May 1 is already larger than the number of organizations that ended up taking part last year.

Palmer said 44 groups have already signed up to take part in the event — that’s nine more than last year. The newcomers include First United Methodist Church of Ironton, Sharon Baptist Church, Ohio University Southern, Collins Career Center, The Workforce Development Resource Center, Rock Hill High School, South Point High School and Symmes Valley High School. And Palmer said every group that participated last year has agreed to take part as well.

“Last year I said I’d be happy if we had 150 and we had a thousand,” Palmer said. “Now I think we may have over a thousand (participants) this year.”

This year the Wayne National Forest will be included in the cleanup. Palmer said forestry officials are particularly interested in having Boy Scout and Girl Scout groups to pick up trash within their borders.

This year’s list includes every school district or educational institution in Lawrence County, including Collins Career Center and Ohio University Southern.

“I did make contact with every school and they did not even hesitate,” LSSWMD Education Coordinator Stephanie Helms said. “A lot of the honor societies, Key Clubs and Beta Clubs are participating.

This year the cleanup day also has one official sponsor, Dow Chemical, which has donated $2,000 for the cause. Palmer said he would love to have more sponsors. Any entity that sponsors the cleanup day will its name included on the official T-shirt that each participants get to wear on that day. Again this year, the T-shirts will be made by Contraption Tees.

Any group that wishes to take part should call the solid waste office by Friday, April 2 to sign up. After that date, there is no guarantee that group’s members will get a T-shirt. And Palmer emphasized those who take part do not have to be part of a group. Individuals are welcome, too.

“A brother and sister called me and said ‘we’re not a part of any group but can we help?’ and I said ‘Absolutely,’” Palmer said. “If you want to participate but you don’t belong to a group, call us and we will find a place for you.”

Last year more than 1,000 participants collected 955 bags of trash and cleaned more than 65 miles of Lawrence County roadway.

The event will begin at 9 a.m. May 1. Those who want to participate in or sponsor the event may call the solid waste office at 532-1231.