Spring cleaning time in Shelby

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County, city programs help rid byways of trash

By Lisa King

With Earth Day still three weeks away, several organizations are pushing ahead with spring cleanings in Shelby County.

For instance, if you didn’t get to participate in the statewide Commonwealth Cleanup program last week, there’s still time. Kathy Ranard, Shelby County’s Clean Community director, has extended Shelby’s program until May 1.

“That’s to give civic groups the opportunity to participate because you never know what the weather is going to be like,” she said. “So I give them more time so I can get the paperwork into the state if they want to do clean up. “

The weeklong initiative, implemented by the Energy and Environment Cabinet, also kicks off the Great American Cleanup, which runs through May, urging people both to get their spring cleaning done and to clean up litter in their communities.

In 2012 during Commonwealth Cleanup week, more than 28,000 Kentuckians picked up 65,392 bags of trash and 6,053 tires along 5,546 miles of roadway. They also cleaned up 12 illegal dumps.

In Shelby County last year,  volunteers picked up 3,787 bags of trash, compared to 4,484 bags in 2011.

Those figures are for the entire year, not for the Commonwealth Clean Up, Ranard said.

“That’s not counting all the mattresses, tires, carpets, TVs, that’s just bags of trash,” she said.

The statewide cleanups began in 1976 as part of a national effort began by Keep America Beautiful, an organization established in 1953 to address the growing liter problem nationwide.

Ranard said that so far this year, groups that have adopted a road include Shelby County ROTC, which picked up Rocket Lane, Persimmon Ridge, and Aiken Lane; First Presbyterian Church, which picked up the downtown area; and Drug Court participants, who picked up Benson Road and Mack Walters Road.

“Benson Road between Boone Station and East Middle [school] is one of the worst areas,” Ranard said, noting that empty vodka bottles litter the area.


Tires big problem

Ranard said the primary sources of litter include people who don’t use trash cans, drivers who don’t make use of ashtrays or liter bags, business Dumpsters that are improperly covered, trucks with uncovered loads on roads and highways,household trash scattered before it can be collected, construction and demolition sites and loading docks with inadequate waste receptacles.

“We’re also having a lot of problems with tires. People are dumping them illegally, and we think a lot of them may be coming from a retail store. Mattresses have also become a problem because of bedbugs. Bellview Road also has a lot of trash, also Bardstown Trail/”

Ranard said last year 200 tires were collected during the cleanup, which was up a bit from the year before. Shelby County 109 Board Chair Rusty Newton has said tire amnesty programs have brought in thousands of discarded tires, which are a big problem for landfills, too.

Ranard said there is still time for civic groups and other organizations to sign up either for the Commonwealth Cleanup or the Great American Cleanup. Groups who take part in the cleanup are furnished with trash bags and other supplies and are eligible for cash prizes for collecting the most trash.

Contact Ranard at 633-4774 for more information on how to participate.


Other cleanups

Also, starting April 8, the City of Shelbyville’s Department of Public Works will implement a weeklong clean-up for residents within the city limits, not businesses.

Appliances (except microwaves) will be picked up, but must have doors secured for safety reasons. Any small items must be bagged or boxed. Limbs must be stacked neatly in piles no higher than 4 feet tall. Limbs must be no longer than 6 feet and not larger than 6 inches in diameter. Limbs must be placed separate from other items.

Items that will not be included are standard household garbage or truck bodies, asbestos, propane containers, dead animals, chemicals, microwaves, hazardous waste, or large quantities of material from building demolition or remodeling.

Public Works reserves the right to leave any debris, if these stipulations are not met. Residents should contact the Public Works Department at 633-1094 to request a pickup.

The Clear Creek Conservation Trust also will be doing a cleanup soon as will the Bagdad Ruritan Club, Ranard said.