Tuesday, 20 April 2021 18:48

Hamlet firefighters clean City Lake; rain date set for Earth Day event

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Hamlet firemen clean up around City Lake on Friday. Hamlet firemen clean up around City Lake on Friday. Hamlet Fire & Rescue

HAMLET — A week ahead of the countywide Earth Day cleanup, several local firefighters took the initiative to get an early start.


Richard Lassiter, assistant chief of Hamlet Fire and Rescue, said members of the department were performing boat operations at City Lake on Friday when they noticed the trash in the area.

“It was a mess down there so they decided to clean it up,” Lassiter said.

Four firemen and two incoming junior firefighters picked up what amounted to more than four large trash cans of garbage from along the bank and the edge of the lake.

The threat of storms this weekend could move the county-led cleanup event.

Aging Services Director Jacqueline Welch, who is helping organize the effort, said in an email Tuesday that “it appears as though we may get rained out,” with the National Weather Service calling for an 80% chance of showers on Saturday.

Welch said a postponement determination will be made by Thursday. If that happens, the make-up clean-up will be May 1.

“However, if your schedule allows you to pick up on another day besides the 24th or the 1st, please feel free to do so,” she added.

Vulcan Materials donated 50 "Please Do Not Litter" yard signs to group leaders, according to Welch.

“These signs can be placed on private property within your community to remind citizens as they pass by, to help keep the community clean,” she said.

Vulcan also has the largest team, with 50 volunteers, who will be cleaning up on Galestown Road, according to an assignment sheet.

As of last Friday, 511 volunteers in 45 groups have signed up to participate.

Welch said Friday that a Facebook Group — Earth Day is Everyday- Richmond County, NC — has been created.

“Please join this public group as it is to be a place to connect with like-minded citizens within Richmond County ... who want to pick up garbage and clean up their communities,” she said. “This group will also act as an informational hub for Richmond County's Earth Day Clean-Up Day.”

 Although April isn’t over, the N.C. Department of Transportation announced Monday that 4 million pounds of litter have been picked up along state roads this year — 1 million pounds have been collected since April 1.

“Keeping North Carolina clean requires everyone to do their part, whether that’s volunteering in the ongoing Litter Sweep or simply securing your load when you drive,” state Transportation Secretary Eric Boyette said in a press release.

In March, state and county workers picked up more than 5 tons of garbage from local roadways, according to the solid waste report.

County Manager Bryan Land said he hopes the momentum continues long after Earth Day has passed.