MOUNT VERNON — It is said that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and people who volunteer to pick up trash along the county’s roadways are finding that to be true. Operation Spring into Action, coordinated by Linda Montgomery in the Knox County Commissioners’ office, pays $3.50 a bag for collected litter and $5 a tire retrieved from alongside a highway or byway. The money comes from the Delaware, Knox, Marion and Morrow Solid Waste District, not from Knox County’s general fund.
Montgomery said she has coordinated the program for four years and encourages 4-H clubs, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts to get involved in the clean-up efforts. “Over the years,” she said, “I had a group that made over $400 and one made $300-some. It’s a nice little fundraiser and it helps beautify our county.”
Spring into Action usually runs from about March 15 through April 30 and that beautification effort is important, said Montgomery. “I want people who drive into Knox County or Mount Vernon to have a good impression of the town. They say it takes 10 percent away from your property value if there is a lot of trash in the area, and trash may also discourage businesses from coming into your area. If there’s trash, it doesn’t seem like the sort of place they want to bring their business into.”
Although state, county and township highway departments are technically responsible for road maintenance, keeping roadways clean isn’t being done, perhaps because of economic considerations. Therefore one sees more trash and litter than in the past, especially along state routes.
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