Keep Mercer Clean campaign gears up for another year of service | News

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PRINCETON — An annual effort to clean up Mercer County’s roadside trash and remove trash and trash that may end up in illegal dumpsites is taking shape for the 2022 season.

Love Where You Live, Keep Mercer Clean begins March 20 and runs through April 30 of this year, according to Executive Director Greg Puckett of Community Connections, Inc. Part of that effort includes working with schools across the county of Mercer again this year.

“Right now we’re on a deadline for schedules,” Puckett said. “We will be partnering with schools this year to redo our Trash to Treasure campaign, and we haven’t been able to do that for a few years due to COVID, but this year we hope we’ll be able to do it again .

Students participating in the Trash to Treasure campaign use the trash collected during Keep Mercer Clean to create works of art. Another part of Keep Mercer Clean is organizing volunteers to pick up trash along county roads. The annual campaign provides more ways for citizens to clean up the trash around their communities.

This involves placing dumpsters in county schools. These dumpsters will be at the designated school every Saturday while the Keep Mercer Clean campaign is underway, Puckett said,

“We’re going to do the traditional pitches,” he said. “It will be Oakvale, PikeView, Brushfork and Lashmeet/Mataoaka. and because we have five Saturdays instead of four, we are looking to get a spot in Spanishburg on the last Saturday.

These Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon, county residents will be able to drop off their trash in dumpsters for free, Puckett said.

“It’s a cooperative effort with the schools and also with Lusk Disposal,” he added.

An aluminum can reader will be another part of the school system’s work with Keep Mercer Clean. Schools that collect the most cans will receive prizes ranging from $250, $100 and $50, Puckett said.

Along county roads, volunteers will pick up litter. The campaign will have plenty of trash bags and grab sets for the effort, but the main focus of the campaign is education, Puckett said. The emphasis is on the spirit of volunteerism.

In 2018, Love Where You Live, Keep Mercer Clean received an award from the National Association of Counties.

“That’s what makes Keep Mercer Clean so special,” Puckett said. “These are the people who work so hard to clean up the community, and this year we really need your support,” Puckett said.

There is still a lot of trash to clean up each year, he added. One of the campaign’s aims is to convince more people not to litter or illegally dispose of their waste.

“We did a lot of ongoing cleanup of trash. Education is so important. We won’t have to work so hard if everyone does their part all the time, doesn’t litter (trash) and keeps Mercer clean,” Puckett said. “The full name of the campaign is Love Where You Live, Keep Mercer Clean. We really like where we live and we have to treat it better than how we do.

— Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com

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