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Richmond County, NCDOT pick up 373 bags of trash in March; preps for hazardous waste collection, Litter Sweep

RO file photo

ROCKINGHAM — Workers with the Richmond County Solid Waste Department picked up four fewer bags of trash in March than in February.

According to the monthly departmental report, the past month’s roadside litter count was 373 bags on 18 roads — collected by both the county and the N.C. Department of Transportation — weighing in at 4.6 tons.

County Manager Bryan Land told the Board of Commissioners Tuesday that Boyd Lake Road outside of Hamlet was added to the rotation.

“We had a few requests from some citizens in that area to start picking up that roadway,” Land said. “And we did. We jumped right on it.”

According to the report, 26 bags were filled from that road — the most of any cleared by the county.

County workers also collected 22 bags from Mill Road and 21 from Mizpah Road, according to the report. All other roads had fewer than 20 bags:

  • 19 – Old Cheraw Highway
  • 18 – Wiregrass Road
  • 16 – Airport Road (cleaned twice), Sandhill Road
  • 14 – Lee Thee Church Road
  • 11 – Harrington Road
  • 9 – Battley Dairy, Rosalyn Road
  • 8 – Hall Road
  • 6 – Church Street, Freeman Mill Road
  • 4 – Eason Drive
  • Crews with NCDOT picked up 168 bags of litter: 62 from N.C. 381; 48 from U.S. 1 North; and 58 from U.S. 220.

In addition to the general trash, a total of 11 tires were removed from roadsides: four from Mizpah Road; three from Lee Thee Church Road; and two each from Eason Drive and Harrington Road.

The solid waste enforcement officer also investigated two illegal dumpsites: one on Sandhill Road; the other on County Home Road near the Ninth Grade Academy. According to the report, one warning and one citation were issued. There were also three garbage burning investigations.

So far this year, there have been 1,275 bags of litter picked up for a total of 17.2 tons.

Based on county reports, nearly 60 tons of litter were picked up locally in 2021, including more than 8 tons each in October and December.

Land told commissioners that the same crew responsible for “keeping our roadways in Richmond County clean and green” also handles the fabrication and installation of missing road signs.

“You’d be amazed at the calls that come into 911 and come into our office that street signs have been stolen, knocked down, ran over, vandalized, what have you,” Land said, adding that there are 18 road signs scheduled to be refurbished and put up this month.



Twice a year, NCDOT sponsors a spring and fall Litter Sweep, requesting volunteers from across the state to help clean state roads.

“Last year, NCDOT and our partner organizations picked up more than 13 million pounds of litter,” State Roadside Engineer David Harris said in a press release. “The Litter Sweep is a great opportunity to keep that momentum going and get your friends and family outdoors. Just a few hours volunteering can make a huge difference.”

(*Note: The 13 million pounds was for the whole year, not just during the Litter Sweep events.)

Richmond County will be participating April 25-30, according to Land, who encouraged any individuals or groups interested in participating to contact Allen Hodges or Bryan Leggett at 910-997-8215 or 910-997-8338.

Land said the county will provide bags, vests and “other necessary tools needed to pick up these roadways.”

According to Leggett, assistant public works director, 13 groups totalling around 100 volunteers have signed up to help.

“If you remember last year, we had an amazing turnout,” Land said. “So we’re hoping we can get that ramped up again and have another wonderful event.”

The county’s annual household hazardous waste collection day is slated for Saturday, April 9, from 9 a.m.- 1 p.m. in the parking lot of the Human Services Complex on Caroline Street.

Residents are encouraged to bring items that aren’t accepted at the landfill or convenience sites including latex and oil-based paints, household cleaners, batteries and fluorescent lights.


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Managing Editor William R. Toler is an award-winning writer and photographer with experience in print, television and online media.