05/01/05 — Voilunteers give up Saturday for cleanup

View Archive

Voilunteers give up Saturday for cleanup

By Matt Shaw
Published in News on May 1, 2005 2:03 AM

More than 150 volunteers braved Saturday's stormy forecast, speeding drivers, fire ants and poison ivy to clean nearly 36 miles of roadsides in Goldsboro and the county.

If you want to see the results of the Spring Litter Sweep, however, you better look fast because there are an untold number of people already beginning to mess them up again.

Councilman Jimmy Bryan was among the volunteers cleaning a stretch of Salem Church Road. After stopping by his house, he drove back past the stretch.

"I swear that there were some bottles lying right next to the bags that we had picked up," Bryan said. "That was discouraging."

Roadside do-gooders might be outnumbered by roadside degraders, but the volunteers were in good spirits Saturday.

Shortly after 8 a.m., Boy Scouts from Troop 14, along with a few family members, were patroling the sides of Saluston Road. They were hauling in bottles, soda cans, fast food wrappers and the usual debris while trying to dodge the seemingly oblivious drivers.

"Even with the signs up and us wearing these vest, they don't slow down," said Jerry Lawson, 16, the Scout who organized his troop for a star project.

Brandon Hill picked up a beer bottle. "Somebody's been doing some drinking and driving." he said.

"Maybe they were drinking and walking," another Scout said.

Noting all the fast food wrappers and beer bottles, Scoutmaster Doug Hill joked, "It's a real redneck buffet out here."

Along Governor Aycock Road, members of Victory Free Will Baptist Church found an old street sign, a coat and what appeared to be the metal remnant of some car parts.

"I told them to keep an eye out for any dead bodies," the Rev. Richard Dickens joked. Luckily, one didn't turn up, although one of the youngsters said he had caught a whiff of a dead deer.

This was the fourth straight time that the church has taken part in the countywide litter cleanup. "I've been very impressed with the kids and their willingness to go out and do things like this," said Dickens, who has only been at the church four months.

Old Mount Olive Highway had two groups working different sections. Don Johnstone, of Goldsboro, volunteered with a crew that was picking up near Brogden School.

What did he find? "Everything, from everything to everything," he said. The biggest offenders were bottles, cans and wrappers, but they also found strips of tire.

The amount of litter collected won't be known until the N.C. Department of Transportation collects all the bags from roadsides and weighs them.

But Simonne Cato, director of Keep Wayne County Beautiful, was ready to call the event a success because of the enthusiasm she saw in her volunteers.

"The thing that has truly thrilled me today is how the weather has held out for us," she said. "We had a lot of people out there working. ... Anytime we can get trash off the road is a victory."

Spring Litter Sweep is a joint effort by Keep Wayne County Beautiful, N.C. Department of Transportation, Wayne County and the city of Goldsboro.