Clean-up campaign off to good start

Published 4:36 pm Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Although the kick off date for the county clean-up campaign is still more than two weeks away — July 18 — its impact is already being noticed.

Pearl River County Planning and Development Director Ed Pinero says that since beginning discussions on the project began in March, tens of thousands of pounds of metal and debris already have been moved to salvage and waste sites.

He says one reason for the response as far as metals are concerned are the high prices people are seeing for certain metals.

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The campaign itself has been aided by two grants the county has received: One from the Keep Mississippi Beautiful Campaign for $2,000 and another from the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality. The Mississippi Beautiful grant was for the maximum amount that could be awarded.

The two grants combined covered the cost of advertising and public relations for the campaign, various material items needed, advertising, any travel costs and other supplies, Pinero said.

The county’s entry for the Keep Mississippi Beautiful grant so impressed judges, it will be entered in competition for an annual award, Pinero said.

Barbara Dorr, executive director of the Keep Mississippi Beautiful program is quoted as saying, “This project looks like a winner and it will make a significant contribution to the quality of life in Pearl River County.”

Pinero says the campaign is much larger than just and effort to cleanup ordinary litter. Abandoned cars, trailers, mobile homes, rundown and abandoned homes and cleaning up run-down property all fall under the scope of the project.

The campaign is meant to be more positive in its approach as opposed to a purely enforcement type of clean-up campaign, he says, and enforcement is a last-resort option.

“We’ve had great success so far in just talking to people and explaining what the campaign is trying to accomplish,” says Pinero, and that the goal is to better educate people about controlling all kinds of litter and trash.

The kick off to the clean-up campaign is 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m., July 18, at the First Baptist Church of Picayune on Goodyear Blvd.

Pinero says any citizen of Pearl River County and the two cities can attend.