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Masters clean-up planned in McDuffie

City and county officials met with community leaders last week to draw up a comprehensive plan for area-wide spring cleaning that would include trash amnesty day March 19 -- a day residents can take trash to the landfill free of charge.

The annual cleanup effort occurs each spring a couple of weeks before the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, which is scheduled April 4-10 this year.

Every year, volunteers fan out across the area picking up litter and trash to get ready for the summer time and also in preparation for visitors to the Masters Tournament.

The downtown area and the major roads leading to it are a priority when it comes to the annual cleaning effort.

"We need to focus on what will give us the biggest impact," said Don Powers, executive director of Forward McDuffie.

Civic groups have already signed up for specific streets and major areas of the town, and crews will come behind the cleaners to cut grass and dress up the curbs, said Road Department Director Chris Pelly

Mr. Pelly has also requested the State of Georgia complete its regular cleanup run around Thomson before the tournament begins.

Trash problems have been compounded by illegal dumping in streets and lots around town, said Gail Newsome, code enforcement officer.

Volunteers who adopt certain areas can leave the filled trash bags at the site and the city will pick them up, said Don Clauson, solid waste manager.

More volunteers are always welcome.

"Any group that wants to clean up any area, let us know it is for community service and we will pick up the bags," Mr. Clauson said.

The group discussed ways to involve the community as well as businesses, churches and schools in working on their own areas.

"I want to do the cleanup then educate people about not littering," Chamber Director Carolyn Gilbert said.

She said there was a need to make the annual cleanup effort a year long endeavor, perhaps as part of the Keep America Beautiful Program.

Keep America Beautiful is a non profit organization focused on beautifying communities that emphasizes individual responsibility.



Web posted on Thursday, March 3, 2005











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