By Retha Mayfield
Saturday morning, April 4, a week before Easter, five municipalities in Copiah County will participate in Keep Copiah County Beautiful’s county wide cleanup helping residents get rid of accumulated clutter. Appliances, furniture, tires and other items can be easily disposed of that day. KCCB is an affiliate of Keep Mississippi/America Beautiful.
Crystal Springs, Georgetown, Hazlehurst, Wesson, Beauregard and eight volunteer fire departments take part in this program. Dumpsters will be delivered to sites on Thursday and Friday before the event. Three of these cities have money allocated in their budgets to pay for their dumpsters. Crystal Springs dumpsters will be placed on Railroad Avenue at the old city water department behind First Baptist Church.
Since the Copiah County Board of Supervisors funds KCCB, it pays for the dumpsters in the other areas and also for any anti-litter educational programs conducted in the schools.
See insert below for material allowed in dumpsters or at county dumps. Be sure to read the “Note for this event only.” Special items can be placed beside the dumpsters for the Sheriff’s Inmate Litter Collection Team pick up and disposal.
It is important to bring filled garbage bags back before noon on Saturday so they can be tallied. The count is recorded and turned in to Keep America Beautiful. This tally will determine how many supplies (garbage bags, etc.) that Keep America Beautiful will send to Copiah County next year. This year’s supplies were cut back.
You can pick up supplies at the Visitors Center for the April 4 cleanup.
Local sponsor is Hardy Wilson Memorial Hospital in Hazlehurst which furnishes the gloves that are used in the cleanup program.
National sponsors are University of Phoenix, Solo, Arm and Hammer, Honda, Wrigley, Dow Chemical, Pepsi, Scotts Miracle Grow, Waste Management, Glad Forceflex, Troybuilt, and Colgate Palmolive.
Nora Berch, county coordinator for KCCB, said this is such a big program. The Copiah County program has a board of 25-5 from Wesson, 5 from Crystal Springs, 5 from Georgetown, 5 from Hazlehurst and 5 at large. The president is Bob McCreary (Wesson). Sally Garland (Crystal Springs) is vice president. Kim Palmer (Hazlehurst) is the secretary. Jim Powell (Georgetown) is treasurer. All areas of the county are represented on the board.
Locally Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the Sheriff’s Department work as a partnership. MDOT sold the Sheriff’s Department a van for $1 which is used specifically for the anti-litter program. MDOT pays the salary of those inmates volunteering each day picking up litter on major highways.
There is also a cigarette litter prevention program in this organization. Last year Crystal Springs received a $1,500 grant for this phase of the program. Eight smoker’s pots were placed at Chautauqua Park to keep cigarette butts off the park grounds. Berch said that many people don’t realize that throwing down cigarette butts is also a form of littering.
KCCB, a nonprofit organization, is looking for office space. Although Berch works out of her home, their supplies are stored in several different places. Constantly learning more about her volunteer job, her goal now is to get recycling started in the county.
The KCCB board meets at the multipurpose building in Gallman the first Wednesday of every month. This meeting is open to the public. Berch said this organization is about much more than trash. She invites volunteers wanting to learn more about the organization to come to these meetings.