Keeping Lawrence County beautiful

by David Morgan, Lawrence County Executive

Since you’ve seen a lot of headlines about solid waste recently, I want to make sure a positive news story doesn’t get lost in the jumble.

At their Tuesday, January 30 meeting, Commissioners approved the purchase of a small compacting garbage truck for a project designed to make disposal of trash and recyclables more convenient for county residents.

After it arrives, the truck will be stationed at four different sites across the county four days a week to receive garbage and recyclables. Residents who usually bring trash to the Transfer Station in Lawrenceburg will be able to dispose of it closer to home, saving time and money.

Residents will also be able to get the county’s yellow recycling bags, and bring their bagged recyclables to these pickup sites. I’m especially proud of this aspect of the project, since recyclable drop-off points on our school campuses are now closed.

We expect this program to be put in place in a few weeks. In the meantime, we’re working with Community Clubs and Volunteer Fire Departments to establish a schedule for “garbage days” at their locations. Schedules will be publicized on social media, local radio, and newspapers.

The smaller size of this garbage truck means its driver won’t be required to have a Commercial Drivers License (CDL). One of our current Solid Waste employees can take on the job, so other than the truck and its fuel, we won’t be spending extra money.

This project is an important piece of a new Keep Lawrence County Beautiful campaign you’ll be hearing more about soon. It’s important to keep our roads garbage-free for many reasons, including economic development. When potential employers visit our county, litter gives them the wrong message about our people and our values.

I have been blessed to make a number of mission trips to Africa, the most recent to Rwanda in June 2022. The worst genocide in modern history took place there in 1994, and it’s amazing to see how it has recovered physically and spiritually in just 30 years. I have to believe one factor is its cleanliness, maintained by a requirement that every citizen participate in a monthly clean-up day in their communities.

We’re never going to make people clean up roadsides, of course, but I think the lesson of Rwanda is this: positive progress for communities and individuals is easier when their surroundings are clean. We live in one of the most beautiful places on earth, and we’d all feel better if trash wasn’t obscuring our view of it.

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