Wednesday, 06 October 2021 20:04

More than 3.5 tons of trash picked up from Richmond County roads in September

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More than 3.5 tons of trash picked up from Richmond County roads in September NCDOT

ROCKINGHAM — More than 400 bags of garbage were picked up along Richmond County roads during the month of September.

According to the monthly solid waste report, county workers — whose job is to just clean trash from roadsides — collected 2.6 tons and the N.C. Department of Transportation collected 1.1 tons, for a total of 411 bags and 3.7 tons. 

That’s less than the 455 bags and 4.12 tons cleaned up in August.

The report shows that 36% of the litter was picked up by NCDOT on three roads: 62 bags on U.S. 1 N and 48 bags on U.S. 1 S; 23 bags on U.S. 220; and 16 bags on Loch Haven Road.

Of the 19 roads cleaned by the county, 12 resulted in 10 or more bags of trash.

The county collected 37 bags during four sweeps of Airport Road. As for the other 11 roads:

  • Sandhills Road - 26
  • Mizpah Road - 23
  • County Home, Wiregrass roads - 21
  • Mill Road - 18
  • Battley Dairy, Freeman Mill roads - 16
  • Harrington, Lee Thee Church roads - 12
  • Old Cheraw Road -11
  • Hall Road - 10

The county also picked up bags of litter from the following roads:

  • Hatcher Road - 9
  • E. Washington Street Ext., Hannah Pickett Avenue, Rosalyn Road - 6
  • Chalk, Eason roads, Spring Drive - 4

The report shows county workers recovered 16 tires last month:

  • 4 - Mizpah, Sandhill
  • 3 - County Home
  • 2 - Lee Thee Church, Wiregrass
  • 1 - Old Cheraw

There were also three illegal dump sites reported and investigated, and three garbage burning investigations, the report shows. The county also issued three warning notices and one citation.

The county participated with NCDOT’s Fall Litter Sweep during September, with the agency reporting more than 209 tons picked up across the state. 

Assistant Public Works Director Bryan Leggett said there were three local participants, but did not give any names.

The countywide Earth Day effort, led by Leggett and Aging Services Director Jacqueline Welch, saw 39 volunteer groups collect 404 bags of trash weighing 6,449 pounds (3.22 tons). The event was originally slated for April 24 but was pushed back to May 1 due to weather.

According to the April Solid Waste Report, 3.7 tons of litter were picked up ahead of the event and 3.5 tons were collected in May.

Going forward, Legget said, the county “will be mirroring the efforts with NCDOT,” with the county picking one of the two weeks the state schedules for the spring and fall Litter Sweeps.

“Our next efforts will be (in) April and we will begin advertising and marketing around January,” Leggett said.

As of Sept. 30, the state was close to breaking the 10.5 million-pound record (5,250 tons) for the amount of trash collected from N.C. roads in one year.

Nearly 250 tons of that garbage has come from District 8, which includes Richmond, Chatham, Lee, Hoke, Moore, Montgomery, Randolph and Scotland counties. Records show 16.4% of that amount (nearly 41 tons) has been right here.

The local trash count doesn’t include the volunteer efforts from Place of Grace, von Drehle, the Richmond Early College High School Eco Club and others.

County Manager Bryan Land has made the solid waste report part of his monthly report to the Richmond County Board of Commissioners.

Land has often referred to the abundance of roadside trash as an epidemic.

“I want to personally thank everyone for their efforts in doing their part to keep Richmond County clean and beautiful,” he said Tuesday.

Land also announced at the October meeting that the Solid Waste Department will be receiving two new haul trailers — at a cost of $120,858 — within the next month.

He added that Hudson Paving was awarded a $49,375 contract for a “much-needed” paving project at the solid waste transfer station, which is slated to be performed within the next four to six weeks.