In April 2 IssueBy John ThompsonNews-Register Reporter
April is Spring PRIDE cleanup month, and as PRIDE coordinator, H.M. Bottom said they are looking to have a good turnout to cleanup Russell County roadsides. Groups of volunteers from Boy and Girl Scouts, as well as church groups and others volunteer their services in the month of April to pick trash that has accumulated throughout the year.
"We'll supply the bags and the gloves," said Bottom, "we're expecting a good turnout and I encourage anyone interested in becoming involved in a worthwhile community activity to give me a call." Volunteers can also receive a free shirt while supplies last with the slogan "put PRIDE in your hands."
All local governments in PRIDE's service area are eligible for Spring Cleanup funds, thanks to a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
To qualify for its available funding, the local government must comply with funding guidelines. A match of 10 percent of the award must be met through volunteer hours.
This year Russell County received a $7,500 grant, while the cities of Jamestown and Russell Springs each received $500. Though volunteers work for free, county cleanup costs money for needed cleanup items.
Spring means spring cleaning. Everyone is encouraged to volunteer a few hours to the community as well as getting the house spic and span. A clean county is a great advertisement for tourism and the tourism dollars that come with them.
Bottom said they plan on holding an open call for volunteers a couple of Saturdays in April, in which volunteers can show up at a designated gathering point and be assigned a section of road to be cleaned up. Keep watch for the announcement in upcoming issues of The Times Journal or The Russell County News-Register, or you can find out more by contacting H.M. Bottom at 270-585-1416.
A free dump day is scheduled for April 20. During this day the Russell County Landfill will accept your large trashed items too large for normal garbage service pickup. Large appliances like air conditioners, refrigerators and other appliances suitable for recycling are always accepted at the recycling center, located on Landfill Road in Russell Springs.
Bottom is also the Russell County Solid Waste Coordinator, and he's has announced that the county is in the process of receiving funding to buy a new skid loader for the county's recycle center. The new loader would be a welcomed addition to a number of new apparatus the center has received in the last couple of years.
"Our new book cutter has really been an asset," said Bottom, "We can get books at the library and the courthouse and cut up." Bottom said we are also accepting books from surrounding counties, as we are the only county in the region that has a large book cutter, "it's really giving us a good return." In addition to the cutter, Bottom said that the county's document shredder has been a big asset.
"We also received another large horizontal bailer which really adds to our ability to bail cardboard," Bottom said. Our county has also received a new glass pulverizer and a new set of scales.
In addition to the new skid loader that the county has applied for a grant for, Bottom said they are also looking to get a couple of new recycle trailers. Currently recycle trailers are located at each school, which Bottom said has been very successful in gathering recyclables and giving students the opportunity to learn about environment. "The school kids and their parents play a big part," said Bottom. "They really help with recycling. Their parents also bring items from home and that's good."
Additionally recycle trailers move from spot to spot in visible and accessible points throughout the county.
Bottom said last year the county's recycle center has been able to recycle 394 tons of cardboard, 69 tons of metals, 117 tons of mixed residential paper, 33 tons of mixed office paper, 27 tons of white office paper, 13 tons of plastic and 6 tons of miscellaneous recyclable material.
With the county's budget crisis, one of the three full time employees at the recycle center has been laid off. The county utilizes available and qualified prisoners from the detention center to help out with work at the center, but require constant supervision as a condition of their working there. With the layoff, only two employees remain at the recycle center.
Bottom said that the goal for the county is to break even with the recycling program; with the benefit of the program being environmental responsibility for the county and the state benefits that become available due to the efforts.
Bottoms' said that recyclables are like other commodities, in that the prices they bring go up and down. "Cardboard got real high last year at one time," said Bottom, "and then it came down. We try to sell it at a higher price or if we're running out of room."
Recycling efforts over the past few years have proven successful. "It's really cut down on illegal dumps," said Bottom, "It's cut down on roadside litter, because, these items are going to go somewhere, and if you make it convenient for people to dispose of them, they tend to not create illegal dumps or throw things out on the sides of the road. That saves the county from having to clean those up, so it's a worthwhile thing."