Keep Carter County Beautiful to clean up Milligan Highway next weekend

It may be a new year, but many of the problems the community faces are nothing new. For some organizations, however, the efforts to resolve those problems are nothing new, either. They continue to work towards making the county a more beautiful place to live.

Keep Carter County Beautiful is gearing up for their quarterly project: participating in TDOT’s Adopt a Highway program.

On Saturday, Jan. 19, members of the committee will meet at Happy Valley Elementary to begin work on a two-mile stretch of Milligan Highway.

Ed Jordan, chair of the committee, said they have been participating in the program for at least three years.

“We are trying to help the environment by removing trash and debris,” he said.

It will not just be the committee participating in the project, however. Students from the nearby Milligan College will also lend a hand.

Jordan said working with TDOT helps remove an “eyesore” from the community as a whole.

“Keeping the county clean entices businesses to come,” he said. “Businesses are not going to come here if the county if filthy and full of trash.”

He said one of the biggest contributors to litter and other trash in Carter County is ignorance.

“People do not understand,” Jordan said. “Cans and the Styrofoam from cups end up in our storm drains, rivers and aquifers. All of that ends up in the ocean.”

Jordan described how the litter from the waterways ends up endangering the lives of local wildlife, including plastic rings choking sea turtles and birds.

He said the project has nothing to do with his own ambitions. Rather, he said he participates because it is the right thing to do.

“We are entrusted by the Bible to take care of the Earth,” Jordan said. “It is not about me or our affiliates. This is about protecting the environment and the ecosystem.”

Including the 10 Milligan students, Jordan said he predicted about 20 people will be in attendance next weekend, though he invited anyone who wants to assist to attend. The volunteers will break off into groups, who will each clean up a particular section of their two-mile stretch. If enough people show up, Jordan said the project will take about an hour.

Jordan said he wanted to thank the director of the county landfill, Benny Lyons, for his work towards promoting the recycling program.

“He has done an excellent job with the recycling program here,” Jordan said. “He has helped keep some of the trash off our streets.”

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