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98 bags of litter collected

Houston Road conducts first litter sweep

COLUMBUS—Houston Road residents in Columbus got a jump on this year’s Spring Litter Sweep by picking up trash this past Saturday. 

Houston Road residents have recently formed a neighborhood committee and held its first trash collection Saturday along the 3.5 miles of Houston Road on a wet morning. 

Residents collected 98 bags of trash in several hours. 

“It was great to see the enthusiasm amongst the many residents who dedicated their morning to clean their community,” said event organizer John Wilkins. “I met neighbors I had only seen in passing. It was a great event with lots of smiles and laughter, which made our take easier.” 

The road was organized into 5 zones, with residents encouraged to collect trash in their zones. 

Several residents drove to other zones where the volunteerism was light or non-existent. 

“This is the type of community involvement that is needed in today’s climate,” Houston Road Community Committee President Sherry Johnson said. 

The HRCC is also working to keep the trash collection an annual event and looking into having the next events include a cookout, after COVID. 

“The social aspect is important for residents to bond and get to know each other,” Wilkins said. “The committee would like to thank all the volunteers who came out and the Polk County Department of Transportation. 

The NCDOT partners with crews, contractors and volunteers across the state. The NCDOT announced this week that there has been more than 1 million pounds of litter collected from roadsides across the state so far this year. 

North Carolina’s Spring Litter Sweep this year is from April 10-24. 

NCDOT officials said litter is unsightly, costs millions of dollars to clean up and can hurt tourism, the environment and the state’s quality of life.
Everyone should do their part by:
•    Securing their loads before driving. Unsecured trash can fly from a vehicle and end up as roadside litter. 
•    Trash should be held onto until it can be disposed of properly. Keep a litter bag in your vehicle so you can properly dispose of trash later. 
•    Recycle whenever possible. Recycling protects our environment, saves landfill space and keeps the community clean, said NCDOT officials.