Spring Cleanup declared a success

Published 3:23 pm Tuesday, May 23, 2023

The Harlan County Fiscal Court heard some final statistics on the county’s Spring Cleanup event during the panel’s May meeting.

Harlan County Judge-Executive Dan Mosley brought the topic up to the magistrates.

“We want to take a moment and celebrate the success of the Spring Cleanup,” Mosley said. “It was an overwhelming success.”

Mosley said District 3 (Cumberland, Benham and Lynch area) was the most successful during the cleanup.

Magistrate Paul Browning added the cleanup went smoothly across Harlan County.

“The overall results speak for themselves,” Browning said.

Mosley touched on some differences in garbage collection in neighboring states and Harlan.

“People go to Kingsport and drive through Virginia and see the dump stations everywhere,” Mosley said. “Those dump stations aren’t for a project like we just did (Spring Cleanup), those dump stations are for residential garbage.”

Mosley explained Virginia does not provide weekly residential garbage collection.

“Right now, Waste Connections comes by our houses and takes off our garbage,” Mosley said. “Over in Virginia, they don’t have that service. You have to put it in the trunk of your car or the bed of your truck and haul it to the dumpster.”

Mosley stated he believes the process for garbage collection in Harlan is preferable.

“Our system is better, because people are getting weekly residential pickup service,” Mosley said.

Mosley pointed out Spring Cleanup allows Harlan County residents to dispose of large unwanted items in a more convenient manner.

“(Spring Cleanup) is a special project we do every spring to clean up the area and hopefully reduce illegal dumps,” Mosley said. “In the same breath, it’s not only to reduce illegal dumps, but it also helps educate people about being more responsible citizens.”

Mosley said the Spring Cleanup resulted in 495 tons of garbage being collected.

“That’s a million pounds of stuff disposed of in a five-week period,” Mosley said. “That’s overwhelmingly successful. Thank you to the magistrates for your participation and thank you to the Solid Waste Department and also the Road Department, and to Waste Connections.”

Harlan County Solid Waste Director Lakis Mavinidis gave his thoughts on the Spring Cleanup.

“It went great,” Mavinidis said. “We had around 500 tons of material collected in addition to approximately 15 tons of recyclable items such as appliances. We had approximately 500 tires that were collected. The people were very pleased with it, and we want to thank everybody for participating.”

Mosley noted there is always a proper place to dispose of unwanted material.

“We want to encourage the public that anytime they have disposable items to bring them to the recycling center,” Mavinidis said. “It’s just across the bridge from the Dairy Queen.”

The Harlan County Recycling Center address is 15 S Hwy 413 in Harlan.