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Lawrence County cleanup day set for Saturday

In its inaugural year, Lawrence County’s county-wide cleanup day surpassed all expectations by amassing more volunteers and sweeping more trash off roadways than anticipated.

This year’s event, scheduled for Saturday, will no doubt surpass last year’s success. And now the effort has gone national.

Lawrence-Scioto Solid Waste Management District Director Dan Palmer said 51 groups have signed on to help this year; last year 39 groups with 1,005 people took part.

Those 51 groups coming this year will bring hundreds and hundreds of pairs of hands.

“We ordered 1,200 T-shirts (for the volunteers) and they’re all gone,” Palmer said. “We’re really excited because of the growth we’ve seen and the various groups. We have churches, youth groups, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, civic groups, schools and we have families and individuals who want to take part.”

There are three sponsors for this year’s event, Dow Chemical in Haverhill, King’s Daughters Medical Center in Ashland, Ky., and Contraption Tees of Ironton.

Lawrence County’s event is now enrolled in Keep America Beautiful’s national Great American Cleanup registry, thanks to solid waste education coordinator Stephanie Helms, who spearheaded the effort to get recognition for the local effort.

The national event runs March 1-May 31. Lawrence County is now included in more than 32,000 communities who stage large-scale cleanup events.

Saturday’s event will be rain or shine. Ironton volunteers are asked to assemble at Second and Center streets at 8:30 a.m. and then disperse from there. Operation TLC will be meeting at the Chesapeake Community Center at 9 a.m.

Groups are asked to take photographs of their work Saturday and submit the photos to the solid waste office. These photos will then be submitted to the national Keep America Beautiful organization.

One Ironton church is sponsoring a thank you concert for those who participate in the cleanup. First Methodist Church will have the concert at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Pine Street United Methodist Church, Fourth and Pine streets. It will feature the group Gethsemane Road.

Last year 955 bags of trash were collected during the county-wide, one-day event.