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Bi-county Litter Sweep gears up

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From staff reports

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Volunteers, state transportation department contractors and local jail inmates will be out in force Saturday as the two-week Litter Sweep campaign gets underway in Pasquotank and Camden counties.

Forty groups of volunteers have already signed up to pick up roadside litter in Pasquotank during Litter Sweep. Another seven have signed up in Camden for the anti-littering campaign that runs through April 27.

The Litter Sweep effort in the two counties coincides with the two-week statewide Litter Sweep effort that also gets underway on Saturday. Other area counties holding Litter Sweep events this month include Perquimans and Chowan. 

Groups that have signed up to participate in Litter Sweep in Pasquotank include the Elizabeth City Senior Women’s Club, Grace Montessori School, Albemarle School, Christ Episcopal Church, River City YouthBuild, the River Road National Honor Society and Pasquotank County administrative staff. 

At least one participating business in Pasquotank, Pepsi Bottling Ventures, has also issued a challenge to other area businesses as a way to increase participation.

“Pepsi invites you to take the Pepsi Challenge,” states a press release from the Elizabeth City Area Chamber of Commerce. 

The company has pledged to commit at least two — and as many as five — employees to pick up litter for at least an hour each weekday of the campaign. Pepsi workers will still be paid while volunteering in the Litter Sweep. Pepsi is calling on other area businesses to “match or exceed PBV's commitment,” the release states.

“We’re just delighted with all the turnout we’re getting from people interested in cleaning up our county,” said Nita Coleman, one of the coordinators of Litter Sweep in Pasquotank.

According to a press release from Green $aves Green, the group helping the Pasquotank County Solid Waste Department spearhead Litter Sweep in Pasquotank, volunteers are signed up to clear litter from approximately 22 streets, roads and other areas. Their target areas include Ehringhaus Street, Halstead Boulevard Extended, Main Street, and Nixonton, Northside and Oak Stump roads.

The DOT contract crews, which are also responsible for mowing roadsides, will be clearing litter along more heavily traveled roads like U.S. Highway 17, U.S. 17 Bypass, U.S. 17 Business and U.S. Highway 158. The inmates housed at Albemarle District Jail will be clearing about a dozen other roads, including Millpond, Weeksville, Body and Soundneck.

Groups that have signed up in Camden include the South Mills Volunteer Fire Department, the Camden Women’s Club, the Camden High School Honor Society, Camden Early College and Camden 4-H. 

“We’re excited and looking forward to getting out there,” said Brenda Bowman, coordinator of Litter Sweep in Camden.

The roadsides that Camden volunteers will be clearing of litter will include Old Swamp Road, Scotland Road, Sawyer’s Creek Road, U.S. Highway 158 and N.C. Highway 343. The roadsides inmates will be clearing include Trotman, Parker, Bunker Hill, Sawyer’s Creek, Puddin Ridge, Keeter Barn and Nosay roads.

Both Coleman and Bowman said groups of volunteers will be working at their own pace. Some will begin working on Saturday; others are set to clean up their roadside areas next week.

Still other groups have already completed their Litter Sweep projects. Boy Scout Troop 158, for example, has already picked up litter along roadways in Shiloh and the Camden Boat Ramp, Bowman said.      

Both Coleman and Bowman said they’re still recruiting volunteers. They’ve also pre-positioned bags, gloves, vests and litter grabbers for volunteers to pick up. Supplies in Pasquotank are available at the county library at 100 E Colonial Ave., Elizabeth City. Bowman said she’s stationed supplies at the Camden maintenance facility, which is behind the county administration building on N.C. 343. Both counties provided funding for the supplies.

To volunteer for Litter Sweep in Pasquotank, contact Coleman at 333-8635 or greensavesgreennc@gmail.com, or Brad Gardner at 335-4105 or gardnerb@co.pasquotank.nc.us. Those wishing to volunteer in Camden can contact Bowman at 621-3940. 

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