Local News

Volunteers sweep up Wake County's trash

Posted September 28, 2009 6:58 a.m. EDT
Updated September 28, 2009 9:14 a.m. EDT

— Volunteers hit Wake County's waterways this weekend, picking up trash ahead of a bigger, statewide anti-litter drive called  the Big Sweep.

Dr. Norman Camp said he became concerned about litter while growing up in southeast Raleigh.

He used to jog along State Street by Walnut Creek. "I noticed tons of litter and trash, and it bothered me," he said.

Camp helped form Partners for Environmental Justice, a group dedicated to saving the wetlands around Walnut Creek.

"We really had to do something," he said. "We've taken out probably 100 tons of trash since 1995."

Next weekend, Camp and other volunteers will take part in the North Carolina Big Sweep. Last year, volunteers picked up 263 tons of litter.

"We have pulled out appliances, enough furniture to furnish apartment complexes," said Sheila Jones, Wake County coordinator for the Big Sweep.

Jones said the litter is also dangerous for animals who can become entangled in it.

Activists said litter can hurt the economy as well by sending the wrong message to the business community.

"We you see litter, it screams, 'We don't care,'" Jones said.

"No one wants to live in a community that's been trashed," Camp said. "You don't trash beautiful settings. You don't trash where you live."