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Anti-litter efforts paying off
Cleanup yields far less trash than found in previous years
John “Smokey” Pack (from left), Jackie Coleman, Robert Coleman and Clift Stone walk along Lenoir Street near the Smith River in Bassett picking up litter as part of the recent annual Spring Smith River Cleanup. (Bulletin photos by Mike Wray)
The recent annual Spring Smith River Cleanup shows that efforts to eradicate the area’s trash problem are working, according to organizers.
About 25 volunteers cleaned up a couple of miles of road and the Smith River and collected about 35 bags of trash and a few tires.
“That’s a far cry from the last clean-up effort along that section,” said Lizz Stanley of Gateway Streetscape.
“It’s evident that those who live along the river are going the extra mile to keep their areas clean. We are thrilled to see things looking much better than in the past,” she added.
Martinsville provided the dump truck that collected the trash April 20, and the official weight of all the garbage collected was less than half a ton.
“That’s just amazing when you think that just a few short years ago, we cleaned over 6 tons of trash in a one mile section of the river,” according to Brian Williams, program manager for the Dan River Basin Association (DRBA).
“We worked from 9:30 to noon and were amazed at the amount of trash … in a good way,” he said. “The roads had the most trash, but the riverbanks were looking better than they ever have. It was amazing. There is no doubt people are becoming more aware and the efforts of a concerned community are paying off.”
Volunteers concentrated on sections of Stoneybrook Road below Philpott Dam, Lenoir Street across the river from Bassett Historical Center, Fairystone Park Highway and Riverside Drive, and sections of the Smith River through Bassett.
Groups taking part in the event, in addition to Gateway and DRBA, were Smith River Trout Unlimited, Greater Bassett Area Community Group, EMI Recycling and the Stanleytown Ruritans.
Stanley organized the cleanup and said she was pleased with the partnerships and show of support from local groups.
“It was good to have the Greater Bassett Area Community Group and the Stanleytown Ruritans out with us. It takes a real community effort to make progress in keeping these areas clean, and we are seeing that more and more,” she added.