10/26/07 — Results of N.C. Big Sweep in Wayne County

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Results of N.C. Big Sweep in Wayne County

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on October 26, 2007 1:45 PM

The totals are in from this month's North Carolina Big Sweep -- the 20th year the statewide cleanup event has been held -- and as a result, Wayne County is much cleaner.

With 352 people covering 15.5 miles at 14 sites across the county, Wayne Cooperative Extension 4-H program associate Barbara Byers reported that 156 bags of trash were filled.

All total, the volunteers picked up 1,088 pounds of garbage from the county's waterways, roadways and parks.

"I thought it went well," Ms. Byers said. "We might have had one or two less sites (than previous years), but I think the ones we had, had a great sweep."

Of the sites producing the most trash, the Cliffs of the Neuse State Park actually yielded between 300 and 400 pounds, including three tires and a car seat. It was scoured by Boy Scout Troop 37 and Boy Scout Troop and Cub Scout Pack 911.

Perhaps the most unusual item found, though, was a toilet seat behind Berkeley Mall.

Not every item picked up was trash, however.

In the Jordan's Chapel area, where the Jordan's Chapel 4-H Club was working, one volunteer found a knife he'd lost earlier this year while out working.

But that was the exception.

Most of the day, volunteers found themselves picking up cigarette butt after cigarette butt -- the most commonly littered item.

"People just keep throwing those out," Ms. Byers said.

All in all, though, with the day considered a success, she explained that her only regret was that they were unable to get a group out on the Neuse River.

"It would be a good time to clean it up, but you probably would have had to have walked down it," she said.

But, she continued, at least they were able to clean up a portion of the watershed.

"Every little bit keeps it out of the water system," Ms. Byers said. "And we'll be doing it again next year."