Wednesday, 05 May 2021 15:42

REPORT: County picked up 3.7 tons of litter ahead of Earth Day event

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County and state workers picked up more than three tons of litter in April prior to the volunteer effort on May 1, according to the solid waste report. County and state workers picked up more than three tons of litter in April prior to the volunteer effort on May 1, according to the solid waste report. William R. Toler - Richmond Observer

ROCKINGHAM — Before volunteers from across Richmond County came together to clean up last weekend, more than 300 bags of trash were picked up from local roadsides.

During his report to the Richmond County Board of Commissioners Tuesday, County Manager Bryan Land said the Solid Waste Department and N.C. Department of Transportation collected 333 bags during the month of April totalling 3.7 tons.

Land added that 16 tires were also removed from the 24 roads targeted for pickup.

According to the report, the worst areas were Airport, Lochhaven and Mizpah roads, as well as N.C. 381 and U.S. 74 Business, where county and state workers picked up at least 28 bags.

There were also 16 bags each collected on Mill, County Home and Galestown roads, 21 bags on Sandhill Road, 19 on Wiregrass Road, 13 on Freeman Mill and Lee Thee Church roads, and 11 on Harrington Road.

The remaining roads netted 10 or fewer bags of litter.

There were also three illegal dumpsites reported and investigated, two warning notices issued, one citation issued, and two garbage burning investigations.

Land applauded the leadership of Public Works Director Jerry Austin, Assistant Public Works Director Bryan Leggett, Solid Waste Enforcement Officer Allen Hodges, and Aging Services Director Jacqueline Welch for spearheading the countywide Earth Day cleanup effort, which was originally slated for April 24 but rescheduled for May 1 due to rain.

As of Monday, Leggett said 39 groups had picked up 404 bags of litter weighing around 3.2 tons.

“A total of 469 volunteers from local industries, businesses, church (and) civic groups, ball teams, school clubs, students and citizens all pitched in to make the event a great success,” Land said, adding that some of the groups “have already made commitments to continue their efforts quarterly, monthly and even weekly.”

Leggett also said he received an email from Vulcan Materials stating that crews from the mining company had picked up nearly a ton of garbage, which included multiple tires, in the Galestown Road area.

That’s roughly eight tons of refuse — 16,000 pounds — collected within a month.

And that’s just the roads that were cleaned.

Some of the areas listed in the solid waste report were also picked up by volunteer crews. Meanwhile, there are other regions, such as Ghio Road, which could use some attention, the RO observed while driving around over the weekend.

According to NCDOT, more than 4 million pounds of litter had been removed from roadways across the state by mid-April.

County reports show that nearly 34,000 pounds were picked up locally from January through the end of March.

Land said Tuesday that Leggett was still waiting for teams to submit information.

“Hopefully this grassroots effort will continue to snowball and other groups and organizations will pitch in long after Earth Day has passed,” Land said. “Our goal was for the event not to just be a once-a-year blip on the radar ... we want everyone to pitch in and do their part to make Richmond County a cleaner place to call home.”


Last modified on Wednesday, 05 May 2021 15:55