Polk Big Sweep set for Saturday, Oct. 6

Published 4:48 pm Friday, September 14, 2012

2011 Polk County Big Sweep volunteers. (photo submitted by Mark Byington)

Polk County will join the rest of the state to play its part in the N.C. Big Sweep on Saturday, Oct. 6. During its 25-year history, more than 320,000 Big Sweep volunteers have retrieved almost 11 million pounds of debris – the visual equivalent of more than 26,000 football fields 5 feet deep in debris.
Organizers said these cleanups are important, because litter can last hundreds of years in the environment (a plastic beverage bottle will last 450 years). Before litter decomposes, they said, it can hurt the economy because businesses may refuse to locate to an area they see as too trashy, and tourists won’t visit. Litter is a human health hazard when it contaminates the water supply as it decomposes, they said. It’s also deadly to wildlife that eat or become entangled in litter, and once entangled, wildlife often attract other wildlife to the same hazard.
Polk County’s volunteer participation in 2011 included more than 35 volunteers who helped clean 7 miles of waterways. This year, Polk County efforts will again include a section of the Green River and adjacent roadside, as well as portions of Lake Adger.
The cleanup will begin at 9 a.m. and last until noon. Volunteers will meet at the Fishtop Access parking area on Green River Cove Road.
Volunteers can contact Polk County Coordinator Mark Byington at 828-859-6874 or go to the Big Sweep website at www.ncbigsweep.org to learn more.
– article submitted
by Mark Byington

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