Concerned citizens meet again on litter

Published 6:46 pm Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Many concerned citizens attended a litter control meeting in Picayune to prepare for the upcoming Great American Cleanup Mississippi.

Scheduled for March 24, the clean-up effort will opefully continue on through the rest of the year in the City of Picayune and the rest of Pearl River County.

Many issues were mentioned such as poor property maintenance, getting rid of hazardous waste and organizing days for community clean ups.

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One issue brought by Mary Reese concerned people in her neighborhood leaving stuff at the road side like old mattresses.

“We got to put the ‘u’ back in Picayune,” Reese said.

Other issues concern dilapidated homes in the city limits. Mayor Greg Mitchell said about 100 such homes have been torn down with about that many left.

Litter and property negligence is becoming a widespread epidemic, said Doug Crotty. He said he would like to see the problem become a priority instead of a small issue.

Earlier yesterday, Linda Hanberry and Picayune Police Community Relations Officer Monica Jacobsen attended the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors meeting with representatives of the Keep Mississippi Beautiful organization. Hanberry said she believes the board was ready to join the effort with the municipalities.

Hanberry said she likes the idea of the clean-up effort taking place just before an Army Band concert on March 29 and the Picayune Street Fair shortly afterward.

Justin Mayer, with JCC Environmental, said he will accept used oil of any kind, except refrigerant oil, and used car batteries for the event. During the event, Mayer said he will bring a barrel for residents to put their used oil in and will collect the batteries. Mayer said he would like to set up a permanent collection program at a location in the city but the program would have to be closely monitored. His company cannot accept oil with more than 1,000 parts per million of chlorine. Contamination occurs when people try to dispose of materials other than oil, such as antifreeze. Mayer said he always tests the oil for the chlorine levels to avoid collecting contaminated oil.

Glennis Smith said he planned to work with the City of Poplarville to get both municipalities involved in the cleanup.

Richard Mareda, president and CEO for Goodwill Industries of Mississippi, said he could offer trucks to transport the trash collection trailers around the city.

Becky Johnson said in the past she had organized a newspaper recycling program and would like to see another one implemented along with cardboard and other paper products.

“The key is to publicize, publicize, publicize,” Johnson said.

A bump in the road to recycling comes with the need to find a buyer of the recyclable goods. However, Johnson suspects that getting community response will not be a problem.

“The average person wants to live in a clean community,” Johnson said.

Mitchell said when the city council meets on Tuesday, March 6, members will discuss a resolution to name a day for local churches and civic groups to participate in a clean-up day. Additionally he said he will ask each council member to head up a clean up effort in their respective districts.

“Until the people take pride…they’re always going to have this problem,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell said there are people who would like to volunteer for such projects, all they need is leadership.

The next litter meeting is at 5 p.m. March 5, at Picayune City Hall.