Locals to tackle trash during N.C. Big Sweep

Oct. 02, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

Volunteers across the state, including those from Central Carolina, will join efforts to clean area streets, waterways and parks this Saturday for the annual North Carolina Big Sweep. 

Lee County and all of its neighboring counties will hold events either this Saturday or Oct. 12 as part of the statewide cleanup.

Three Lee County locations are included in the Big Sweep, including Carbonton Dam Park, located on Highway 42, Deep River Park at the Camelback Bridge; and San-Lee Park, located at 572 Pumping Station Road. All the events are scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. and last until 1 p.m. this Saturday, said Lee County Solid Waste Superintendent Joe Cherry, who serves as the county Big Sweep coordinator.

“Hopefully, [volunteers] get a sense of cleaning their community,” Cherry said. “It’s one thing to make Lee County a little better, and we are hoping for a nice day.”

More than 70 volunteers participated in last year’s Lee County event, and Cherry said he anticipates the same amount of participation this Saturday.

People can RSVP to Cherry or get more information by calling him at (919) 718-4622 ext. 5381, but they do not have to register to help.

“If people just want to show up, they can,” he said. “We will take anyone who wants to donate their Saturday morning. We will be grateful.”

Harnett County is holding its event at the Cape Fear River Trail Park by the Highway 217 bridge in Erwin, according to Raven Rock State Park Ranger David Brown, who is also serving as the Harnett coordinator. The event begins at 9 a.m. this Saturday.

“It hurts us economically; people don’t want to work or visit a place with litter,” he said. “It’s also a health hazard, and it can contaminate the water supply.” 

If volunteers make their friends and family aware of litter’s negative impact, Brown said, they can make a positive difference by protecting wildlife and being considerate of the environment.

Chatham County will hold its annual event on at 9 a.m. Oct. 12 at the East Access Gate at Jordan Lake, just south of 3005 Pea Ridge Road, so as not to conflict with the Jordan Lake Heritage Day event, according to Fran DiGiano, the coordinator for Chatham County.

“It’s really important to engage as many people as possible with an event like this,” he said. “It’s an important issue we need to deal with.”

More information about the event can be found at www.meetup.com/HelpCleanJordanLake/. 

Moore County’s events are scheduled for 9 -11 a.m. this Saturday at Page Lake in Aberdeen and in the Robbins area near Bear Creek, according to coordinator Chad Beane. More information is available by calling (910) 947-3637.

“We encourage people to take responsibility and strive to keep their surrounding area clean,” he said.

Since the inception of the North Carolina Big Sweep, more than 11 million pounds of trash reportedly have been collected by 335,00 volunteers statewide. More information about the statewide event can be found at www.ncbigsweep.org

“This is something we look forward to each year,” Cherry said. “But something we look forward to even more is the day we don’t have to do it anymore.”