Sunday, May 16, 2021

Local Towns Look to Citizens to Combat Litter

By Alyssa Schnugg
News editor
alyssa.schnugg@hottytoddy.com

It takes a village to keep a village clean, so residents in Oxford and the town of Taylor are being asked to grab a bag or two and help pick up trash along the roads.

As part of a new initiative by the city of Oxford, “Don’t Throw Down on Our Town,” Community Clean-Up Days are scheduled for 8 a.m. to noon on March 6 and April 17.

Michelle Robinson with Oxford Environmental Services said the focus for the first two Clean-Up Days will be highways 6 and 7.

“We will also let groups pick their location,” she said. “Some want to pick up in their wards and some are going to go on the highways.”

Volunteers of all ages are welcome. The city will provide vests, litter sticks, gloves and trash bags.

“I am so excited to get this initiative started in Oxford,” Robinson said. “I have had a good response already so I am hopeful we will pull together as a community to keep our city cleaner.”

Robinson said light rain won’t prevent the Clean Up Days from happening; however, if heavy rain and thunderstorms are expected, rain dates will be announced closer to the days of the event.

The city is also looking for groups and organizations to adopt an Oxford road or an area of town to keep clean.

Groups that adopt a road or area will receive a sign on the road stating the name of the group or organization and will have the choice of how often they pick up trash.

“Depending on which road they select, I would say some would have to be on a regular schedule and some could be on an as-needed basis,” Robinson said.

Those interested in volunteering should contact Robinson at 662-232-2745 or via email at mrobinson@oxfordms.net.

Old Taylor Road Beautification

Believing that the only solution to the trash problem in Lafayette County is a public-private alliance, a group of business owners and engaged citizens have announced a plan to address the issue of litter on the Old Taylor Road corridor between Oxford and Taylor.

“This is an idea that’s been brewing for a while. It’s really an economic development issue. We want to help the county knock out the trash on Old Taylor Road between the Oxford city limits and the Taylor city limits,” said group leader Campbell McCool. “We believe we can create a model that can be replicated across the county whereby private groups take responsibility for certain key roads and work with the county to change behavior.

“It’s not merely picking up trash. It is education, appealing to people’s sense of pride and love for our local community. This isn’t going to happen overnight, but we’re going to give it a shot.”

Wonderbird Spirits, located off Old Taylor Road, has joined the grassroots effort to help keep Old Taylor Road clean. Photo via Facebook/Wonderbirdspirits

The private-public effort will include road signage, asking individual groups to adopt half-mile stretches of Old Taylor Road, in-school education programs, and community workdays.

Initial companies, and individuals, already involved are Wonderbird Spirits, Plein Air, Charlie Mars, Shawn Edwards, Callahan Quick Print, Rainbow Cleaners and Jimmy Yancy.  

“We welcome this group’s effort and applaud their willingness to get involved in this important issue,” said Supervisor David Rikard, whose district covers much of the Old Taylor Road corridor.  

Supervisor Chad McLarty said having volunteers assist with litter control is a win-win for the county government and its citizens.

“The county does the best it can, but like any government entity we have limited resources that at times are stretched, so if this group is willing to lead the charge we’re going to give them all the help and support they need,” McLarty said.

Anyone interested in being involved in the Old Taylor Road beautification project should call McCool at 662-832-2770.


Campbell McCool contributed to this story.

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