Get out and clean up!

BY JOE B. COATES,
PUBLISHER
Spring has begun to flood the area with bright greens, yellows, reds, pinks and purples.  The solemnness of winter has been destroyed, thankfully, by an army of blooms and blossoms, leaving behind a tenacious cover of pollen.
Keep Copiah County Beautiful is hosting the annual countywide clean-up event this Saturday, right on cue with Mother Nature.  That means you and I have work to do.  Like me, maybe you’ve accumulated some junk – old paint cans, rusty old parts of toys or even an aging push-mower that bit the dust and is beyond feasible repair – over the past 12 months.  Gather it all together.  Load the stuff on your truck or trailer or your neighbor’s and haul it off to the nearest dumpster (see front page).  Wave it good bye.  Rest assured you have broken the chains of hodgepodge for at least another season.
Now, here comes the best part.  You have a chance to improve your entire community, teach a lesson and serve your neighbors all at one time.  I suggest you take a look around along the sides of the roadways on which you travel each day.  Notice the litter?  If you are like me, you say this at least 5 times a week: “Why do these idiots think that my road is a dumping ground for their trash?!?”  Aggravates the heck out of you, doesn’t it?  Me too.
Enlist your children or nephews or nieces or grandchildren or some other young folks and form a Litter Getter Team, much like Mrs. Mardies Coleman does in the south part of Hazlehurst each year.  Contact Keep Copiah Beautiful for clean-up day supplies–rubber gloves, Hefty bags, etc.  Wear bright colored clothing and have someone keeping an eye on traffic in the area.  Sweep both sides of the road, much like board members of the Hazlehurst Chamber will be doing along the Highway 28 corridor on Saturday.  Collect the waste, load up in a truck or trailer and haul it to the dumpster–out of sight, out of mind.
Folks,  certain areas of Copiah County’s roadways are breathtakingly beautiful.  The shameful thing is that litter accumulates along these paths, and even the county’s inmate litter control crew can not keep up.  And, they’ve been out removing tons of roadside litter on several days over the past few weeks.  Evidently, the message to those who litter is not being heeded, so we have to set the example, not just on Saturday, but every day.
One other thing to property owners:  Please purchase a sturdy trash container at one of our local hardware stores and use it when garbage is picked up on your day of the week.  Placing your full garbage bags on the curb outside of a container is unsightly and encourages wild and domesticated animals to tear into the trash bags, strewing your garbage into the street and onto other’s property.  The problem is exacerbated not just by homeowners, but also I’ve noticed by several downtown businesses.  Not using a trash receptacle is also a sure sign that you are just too dang lazy to roll a couple of trash cans to the curb each week and roll them back to your home or business after the garbage truck swings by.
Working together year around to clean, to train the young folks and to use common sense is the only way we will ever gain any ground on the problem of litter in our county.  Do you care enough?

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