Monday, 09 May 2022 17:47

April sees more than 8 tons of roadside trash in Richmond County

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Members of the Richmond Senior Beta Club pose while cleaning up for the Spring Litter Sweep. Members of the Richmond Senior Beta Club pose while cleaning up for the Spring Litter Sweep. Richmond County

ROCKINGHAM — More than eight tons of garbage were picked up from Richmond County roadsides in April, with combined efforts from the Solid Waste Department, the N.C. Department of Transportation and volunteers from the community.


During the last week of April, 213 volunteers — mostly from 19 groups — picked up 155 bags for a total 1,920 pounds of litter during the weeklong Spring Litter Sweep, according to Assistant Public Works Director Bryan Leggett.

Those groups included:

  • Students from the Richmond Senior High School Beta Club and Army JROTC Raider Battalion
  • RCC Campus Crusade for Christ
  • Richmond County Aging Services and the Hamlet and Ellerbe Senior Centers
  • Employees of Superior Cranes, Therafirm, Enviva and American Woodmark

Individual volunteers included County Manager Bryan Land, Commissioner Tavares Bostic, Aging Services Director Jacqueline Welch, Cooperative Extension Director Paige Burns, Donna Growe, Kim Hotter, Eliza Rizzo and Dustin Melton.

The Litter Sweep is a twice-yearly clean-up event sponsored by NCDOT. The department has not yet released how much litter was collected statewide during the Litter Sweep.

The total from the weeklong effort was in addition to the 7.6 tons of trash picked up by county and state employees.

Roughly 40% (2.1 tons) of the 5.3 tons picked up by the county came from trash and debris on Seaboard Road — off of N.C. 177, just north of the South Carolina line — according to the monthly solid waste report.

“Obviously, a considerable amount of our increase in volume can be attributed to that stretch of roadway on Seaboard,” Land told commissioners last week.

Of the 610 bags filled, 211 came from 16 roads routinely cleaned by the county — including 29 bags from Battley Dairy Road. Other bag totals are:

  • 23 from Mill Road
  • 21 each from Airport Road (cleaned twice), Mizpah and Sandhill roads
  • 16 each from County Home and Harrington roads
  • 12 from Lee Thee Church Road
  • 11 from Old Cheraw Road
  • 9 from Rosalyn Road
  • 8 from Hall Road
  • 6 each from Church Street and Hatcher Road
  • 4 each from Chalk Road, Eason and Spring drives

The remaining number of bags was cleaned by NCDOT: 110 on US. 74 Business; 90 on U.S. 1 North; 84 on U.S. 220; 68 on N.C. 381; and 47 on N.C. 73 West.

The county also removed 29 roadside tires: 11 on Sandhill Road; six on Hall Road; four each on Battley Dairy, Mill and Rosalyn roads.

The tonnage in April was nearly twice the 4.6 tons collected the previous month.

In addition to the roadside trash, the solid waste reports shows that three illegal dumpsites were reported and investigated and there were two garbage burning investigations. The solid waste enforcement officer also issued two warning notices and two citations.

Combined reports show that 2,040 bags of trash weighing around 25 tons have been cleaned from county roads in the first four months of 2022.

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.

During his report on May 2, Land called the Household Hazardous Waste Day “a great success,” with more than 100 vehicles rolling through to drop off waste.

“We were able to fill an entire tractor-trailer with items that typically aren’t accepted at our landfill,” Land said.