Annual cleanup collects tons of trash in Perry
by Bailey Richards
HAZARD — The annual PRIDE cleanup in Perry County took place this past week, and hundreds of truckloads of household waste were taken to the county garage, and over 200 bags of trash were collected from Buckhorn Lake and Gays Creek campground.
Solid Waste and PRIDE Coordinator for Perry County Rosa Couch said that both cleans ups were a great success this year. On April 14-15 volunteers came and helped unload over 200 trucks of everything from furniture and carpet, to electronics and recyclables.
“Anybody could bring anything from their homes and drop in by the county garage or the drop site at Krypton,” said Couch.
While in the past the PRIDE cleanup lasted nine days, this year their funding for these projects was cut from $50,000 to $5,000, so they adapted. Couch said that even though the cleanup was only two days, it seems as though many people took advantage of it.
“We unloaded 232 trucks on Saturday,” said Couch. “A lot of people did utilize the opportunity to drop off stuff.”
While the weather was bright and sunny for the community clean up days, it was cold and rainy only a week later for another event at Buckhorn Lake.
“We had the Buckhorn Lake cleanup, and although it rained on us all day long we managed to fill a 30-yard dumpster,” said Couch.
Buckhorn Lake is connected to the rest of the waterways in the region through rivers and creeks, and often what is dumped miles away will end up in this state park. At this year’s cleanup, 165 bags of trash and 10 tires were pulled from the lake.
Couch said that cleaning the lake wouldn’t be possible without the hard work of volunteers like the Perry County Drug Court. She added that ever since she has been coordinating the lake cleanup, the drug court has been the main workforce cleaning up the banks.
“The Perry County Drug Court and Judge (Bill) Engle came out, and that is the group that made it successful,” she remarked, adding that drug court volunteers made up the vast majority of the 70 volunteers at the lake.
Along with drug court, Judge-Executive Denny Ray Noble came out to help clean up the lake. Couch said like Judge Engle and Drug Court, Noble has come out to help every year event this year with a cold he worked in the rain.
Other volunteers included Commonwealth Attorney Teresa Reed and Billie Combs, among others.
This year the cleanup extended to the newly re-opened Gays Creek campground. At Gay’s Creek, volunteers picked up 68 bags of trash and one tire.
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