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Fentress Material Cleanup Runs Through Saturday

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Fentress Material Cleanup Runs Through Saturday

Fentress County encouraging residents to bring roadside garbage to convenience centers for its Every Day Is Earth Day event this week.

Fentress County Newcomers Secretary Susan Withstandley said roadside trash is typically the first complaint she hears from people who move into Fentress County. The Newcomers Group, Fentress County Solid Waste, and The Big South Fork Back Country Horsemen are working together to put on the second annual installation of the project. Withstandley said littering in the county is a three-pronged issue.

“One is, a lot of people have pickup trucks and they throw their garbage in the back of the pickup truck,” Withstandley said. “And when they go down the road, it comes out. One is a mindset that, you know, we can just do that. But the third thing is, we have transfer stations and convenience centers, and so everybody has to cart their garbage, so we lose a lot that way.”

Withstandley said last year, some 700 pounds of trash was collected and she believes the county can top that number this year. Withstandley said she is keeping track of the roads that are being cleaned. She said last year, some 95 miles of road were cleared of litter and from the activity she has seen this week, the event this year could set a new record.

“We live in such a gorgeous area, and one of the things that is so not gorgeous, is the garbage on the side of the road,” Withstandley said. “So, we’re just trying to give back and clean up what we can around here.”

She said the Solid Waste Department is providing trash bags, reflective vests, and gloves for those hoping to participate. She said the department added new bags so that recycling can be collected separately this time around. She said the Back County Horsemen joined the project this year to clear garbage from horse trails.

“We worked with the kids a little bit,” Withstandley. “We did a coloring contest this year. So, kids designed an Earth Day picture and we put that in the paper, and then we had a coloring contest of who did the best coloring on it. So, we’re trying to get the kids more involved so it’s a more innate thing to put the garbage where it belongs.”

She said for those who cannot walk miles of road and clear trash, picking up loose garbage on the street around homes and neighborhoods goes a long way. Planting flowers and composting are other recommended ways of getting involved with the project.


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