No one likes a litter bug, and no one likes trash in their community. City staff plans to get out and help clean up Lenoir during the North Carolina Litter Sweep next month.
The 2021 Spring Litter Sweep is taking place April 10-24. Normally scheduled in April and September, Litter Sweep is the N.C. Department of Transportation’s biannual statewide roadside litter removal initiative. Residents throughout the state participate in local efforts to help clean the state's roadways.
City of Lenoir staff participated in litter pickups several times in the past few years. This year, staff plans to pick up litter around the city on Wednesday, April 14. After collecting trash, staff will gather for lunch on the square in Downtown Lenoir.
City employee Erika Leonhardt said she hates to see trash on the streets and she enjoys the City's litter pickup events.
"I grew up here, so it's frustrating to see litter around town. I teach my children not to litter, and I hope everyone else does, too," Erika said. "But, it's always fun to get outside and get some exercise during Litter Sweep. Once we're finished, it makes me feel good to see what a great job everyone does and to see the roads clean. We also always get calls [at City Hall] from people saying how nice the streets look after the event."
Normally, 30-40 City employees from several departments go out and pick up trash during Litter Sweep. During the last event, staff picked up more than 50 bags of trash.
Mayor Joe Gibbons said he's proud that City staff help clean up Lenoir, but he added that keeping the City clean should be a community-wide effort.
"I think it's great that our City employees participate in the annual litter sweep events. They do a good job cleaning up every year," Gibbons said. "But the litter problem is pretty big at the moment. We need residents and civic groups, etc., to step up and help us. We need to remind our friends, family, and children that littering is not okay. And, we need to organize groups and help clean up the streets where we live."
NCDOT usually provides gloves and bags for people who Adopt-A-Highway or participate in the annual Litter Sweep. NCDOT will also pick up bags. To get supplies, call the NCDOT Caldwell County Maintenance Office at 828-726-2512. Be sure to let the NCDOT staff know when and what street you plan to clean.
City staff pick up litter on North Main Street during a past NC Litter Sweep. Pictured from left: David Coffey - Finance, Elizabeth Church - Finance, Sgt. James Moore - Police, Erika Leonhardt - Finance, City Manager Scott Hildebran, Lt. Chris Robinson - Police, Master Patrol Officer Marshall Ruppard - Police, and Lt. Mark Barlowe - Police.