PEMBROKE — Organizers of Robeson County’s Clean and Green anti-littering campaign say that people are starting to get the message that it’s time to clean the county up — and keep it clean.
“You really have to engage folks,” Kristina Cummings, Robeson County’s recycling coordinator and member of the Clean and Green Steering Committee, said. “… It’s hard to tell exactly how much trash people are starting to pick up, but we are seeing positive results.”
Cummings said during Thursday’s meeting of the campaign’s steering committee that since Clean and Green’s official campaign kickoff on July 1, there has been a 54 percent increase in the amount of “roadside” trash delivered to the county landfill in St. Pauls by the Department of Transportation. That department, she said, picks up bags of trash that individuals and groups holding roadway cleanups have left along the roadside to be picked up for disposal.
“Since July 1 to Aug. 7 there has been 13.64 tons of trash designated as roadside brought to the landfill by DOT,” Cummings said. “That is an increase of about 6 tons above the average of 7.33 tons.”
County Commissioner Raymond Cummings, who chairs the committee, called the 54 percent increase in trash pickup “phenomenal.”
“This shows a significant success for Robeson County’s clean and green efforts,” he said. “Working together we can make a difference.”
During Thursday’s hour-long meeting, members of the committee tossed out ideas about how to continue the committee’s No. 1 priority of keeping the campaign visible throughout the county. As an example of promoting Clean and Green visibility, a list of major upcoming events was compiled at which a sign bearing the Clean and Green logo could be exhibited.
“We are trying to encourage everyone to clean their own roads,” Raymond Cummings said.
Kristina Cummings presented a brief update on what has been done, and is being done, to promote the Clean and Green campaign.
— Orange and blue litter bags are available to the public at all of the county’s waste disposal convenience sites. Anyone can get five bags and if more are needed for an organized cleanup, they can be obtained by contacting the county’s Solid Waste department.
— There is is now a Clean and Green website where information about the campaign can be found. Pictures of cleanups can also be posted on the site. The site’s address is http://robesonncclean.wix.com/cleanandgreen.
— County volunteer fire departments are holding a contest to see which company can collect the most litter between Aug. 1 and Oct. 31. The winner will receive smoke detectors to distribute to residents in their district.
— Programs and activities for students will be held during the upcoming school year.
— During the recent back-to-school event held by the Public Schools of Robeson County, about 1,200 promotional vinyl stickers and information on littering and recycling were distributed.
The steering committee plans to hold its next meeting at 6 p.m. on Sept. 24 at the office of the Lumber River Council of Governments in COMtech business park. Anyone is welcome to attend the meeting.
Bob Shiles can be reached at 910-416-5165.