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Organizers handle last-minute work for cleanup

Saturday will be 5th year for event

 

Dan Palmer and his staff spent Monday afternoon sorting through 1,100 T-shirts and pairs of disposable plastic gloves and 2,500 Glad trash bags, all in preparation for Great American Cleanup Saturday.

This year the morning-long countywide cleanup has attracted the most volunteers in its five-year history. Each volunteer will get a shirt, a pair of gloves and a number of trash bags.

“Without a doubt, this is the biggest attendance so far,” said Palmer, director of the Lawrence-Scioto Solid Waste District. “I think people are coming on board when they see a successful event. And they want to become involved because we are very serious about cleaning up and greening and making a better county.”

The event kicks off with an opening ceremony in Ironton at 9 a.m. at the new Farmers Market at Depot Square on Second Street.

“Then we will ask those groups to disperse to their sites,” Palmer said.

This year county participation has grown with seven out of the 14 townships on board.

“We’ve increased by one or two,” Palmer said.

Two of those townships received $2,000 grants from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to cover costs of cleanup supplies.

“And we have six churches on Greasy Ridge and a 4-H group participating,” Palmer said.

“The way it looks all of Greasy Ridge will be covered and that goes from Chesapeake to Symmes Valley. This is awesome.”

Also for the first time all three South Point schools are joining in, along with regulars such as the children and parents from Dawson-Bryant Elementary School.

“They join us every year and with those kids are the parents,” Palmer said. “We want safety and security. And the police and fire department in Coal Grove will patrol and make sure to slow down traffic. We don’t want anyone injured.”

Another new participant is the Ironton-based Rotary Club that is teaming up with Ironton in Bloom.

At Depot Square Coca-Cola Bottling will have a tent set up with refreshments. Coca-Cola is the event’s biggest sponsor this year. Other local sponsors are Dow Chemical and Awards Plus Tees.

“We will finish up by noon with pizza and pop for those working in downtown Ironton,” Palmer said.

All county groups are asked to report to the solid waste district on Monday with the amount collected and the number of workers joining in the event.

“Our major tonnage will come from the townships,” Palmer said.