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Shelby to hold 'cleanup week'

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By Nathan L. McBroom

After next week the streets of Shelby County will likely be cleaner and freer from litter and debris, thanks to the planned efforts of a coalition of environmentally concerned citizens.

The local cleanup effort is part of a statewide initiative called "Commonwealth Clean Up Week." The event is designed to make the highways and hedges of Kentucky more beautiful and environmentally sustainable.

This is the tenth year for the effort, and local organizers are hoping the event will help reduce the amount of trash on local roadways and will encourage local folks to have greater concern for the environment.

Kathy Ranard, the local event organizer, said during the week several local organizations have planned clean up projects that will help beautify the community.

A group from First Presbyterian Church will be walking the streets of downtown Shelbyville picking up trash, cigarette butts and other debris and the Shelby County Clean Community program will be working to clean up two local illegal dump sites.

So far, Ranard said five local organizations have signed up to officially participate in event. The First Presbyterian Youth Group, the Newton Family, the Bagdad Ruritan Club and fire department, the Shelbyville Group Home and the Greenway Trust have all planned events in coordination with the weeklong emphasis.

The civic, religious and other non-profit organizations that sign up to participate in the event will be placed in a state random drawing for three $500 prizes.

Ranard said a few years ago an organization from Shelby County was selected to win the prize.

Along with the groups that have signed up to officially participate in the week, Ranard said a number of local individuals will also be engaged in cleanup projects.

Ranard said through the years events such as this have helped to make Shelby County a cleaner place.

In 1998, the Kentucky General Assembly mandated this statewide cleanup and recycling event in order to promote responsible solid waste practices. According to a press release, the purpose was to "provide Kentucky communities an opportunity to 'spring clean,' recycle and promote personal responsibility across the Commonwealth."

In coordination with the weeklong emphasis, the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet is also requesting that local law enforcement officials step up efforts to cite for criminal littering and illegal dumping. They are also requesting that county attorneys and district judges follow through with prosecution of littering and dumping citation during the week.

For more information on how to participate in the week call, 633-4774.