Roane County litter pick up program gaining momentum

Roane County litter pick up program gaining momentum

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"It's also part of the education for folks to drive by and actually see the effort that's put forth," explained Roane County Litter Educator Stacey McElhaney. "It's also part of the education for folks to drive by and actually see the effort that's put forth," explained Roane County Litter Educator Stacey McElhaney.
Litter clean up officially began back in February, and crews have already collected about 20,000 pounds of garbage. Litter clean up officially began back in February, and crews have already collected about 20,000 pounds of garbage.
Crews have also picked up eight loads of scrap metal, 1,200 tires and six boats. Crews have also picked up eight loads of scrap metal, 1,200 tires and six boats.

By JESSA LEWIS
6 News Reporter

KINGSTON (WATE) - The Roane County Highway Department is cleaning up, picking up litter along the county's 646 miles of highway.

Litter clean up officially began back in February, and crews have already collected about 20,000 pounds of garbage.

That's 1,000 bags full.

County Road Superintendent Dennis Ferguson says it has been a county-wide effort.

"A lot of people, they talk about the trash on the side of the road, and we have a lot of it. We wanted to be a part of that and help to do away with it," Ferguson said.

The program is funded by a TDOT grant, and is supplemented by inmate labor.

There's also an education program as well as a mascot.

"If it's a busy road, we like to get that attention. It's also part of the education for folks to drive by and actually see the effort that's put forth and it also gets the children involved, too," explained Roane County Litter Educator Stacey McElhaney.

People who live in Roane County, but not in one of the cities, aren't required have curbside trash pick-up.

Either they have to subscribe to it, or they have to go to one of the convenience centers throughout the county.

Ferguson says he does not think lack of curbside service is the cause of the litter problem.

One man said the situation isn't ideal, but he couldn't imagine littering instead.

"Just tons of garbage everywhere. Driving down the road, all you see is beer cans, McDonald's bags, things like that. It's a shame people don't have anymore respect for their community," Roger Norris explained.

It isn't all paper bags and aluminum cans.

Crews have also picked up eight loads of scrap metal, 1,200 tires and six boats.

"We picked up one particular area 3 weeks ago. I went back last week, pulled up there and looked, and during Thursday until Monday, somebody had dropped off a couch," Ferguson said.

You can report an area to be picked up by calling the county highway department at 865-882-9782 or by contacting them on their Facebook page.

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