Landfill committee hears from resident about cleaning up roads
Published 9:44 am Tuesday, March 8, 2016
The local resident behind a grassroots movement to help clean up Carter County’s roadways spoke to members of the Landfill Committee on Monday regarding the group’s goals and ways which the county can help.
Edward Jordan began his work to organize a citizen group to help combat the problem of roadside litter earlier this year. The group held its organization meeting recently and selected the name “Carter Pride,” Jordan told the committee.
The image a community presents to visitors is an important one, Jordan said. When tourists or companies considering locating in an area visit, seeing trash along the roads gives the impression the community does not care, he added.
By working to combat the problem and educate people regarding litter, the community can change that negative image and attract more visitors, Jordan said.
“This ties into the growth of our community — both in business and tourism,” Jordan said. “Plus, it’s in the Bible that we take care of our beautiful land.”
Though the group is still young, Jordan said they have already come up with some ideas they think will help combat litter and illegal dumping.
Among the ideas Jordan presented to the committee were:
• Hosting a Spring and Fall county-wide cleanup;
• Having a semi-annual free curbside pickup day for household garbage and bulk items, including having the county furnish the dump trucks to pick up bulk disposals and large items;
• Having “free” landfill days where residents can bring items to the landfill at no charge;
• Have the Highway Department post road signs warning motorists about litter laws and the penalties for littering.
“My thinking is we need to spend a little bit of money to save money,” Jordan said. “It would be cheaper to pay for the dump trucks to pick up the bulk items from the different communities, of course at different times, than it is to dig out all these creeks.”
Committee member Charles VonCannon pointed out there are several other agencies or groups that already work to promote recycling and clean up litter from roadways and streams.
“I would suggest you reach out to these other groups so you can make a coordinated effort without any overlap,” VonCannon said.
Jordan said his group has signed up for a booth on non-profit nights during the annual Covered Bridge Days Celebration, but there is some question on whether or not they would be approved for a booth space. Commissioner Mike Hill said his understanding of the issue was the fact that Carter Pride was not a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency.
“We could sponsor the table in the name of Carter County Solid Waste and let Mr. Jordan provide the information,” Hill said. He then made a motion for the committee to secure the booth for Jordan, and the committee voted unanimously to sign up for the booth for the festival.
Jordan said he had spoken with the Keep Tennessee Beautiful organization and they had committed to providing decorations and literature for the booth.
“I would really like to see us come on board with the Keep Tennessee Beautiful organization because they have so much to offer,” Jordan said.
Jordan said he and the other members of the group are also looking forward to partnering with the county.
“I think together we can make a difference in our community,” Jordan said.
In other business, the committee approved on a split vote of 6-1 to grant Carter County Solid Waste Director Benny Lyons the authority to close the landfill, convenience centers and recycling centers at his discretion in the case of inclement weather.
Landfill Committee Chairwoman Bobbie Gouge-Dietz told members of the committee that the county’s elected office holders have the authority to close their office as their own discretion when bad weather arrives and recently the Financial Management Committee granted the same authority to Carter County Finance Director Christa Byrd.
“I would like us to give Director Lyons the authority to close in the event of inclement weather,” Gouge-Dietz said.
The measure was approved by the committee on a vote of 6-1, with VonCannon casting the only dissenting vote.
“I’m not in favor of closing the Recycling Center for inclement weather,” VonCannon said before the vote was held. “A lot of the people who use that live in the city and they can get there.”