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Lee County plans communitywide cleanup Saturday

The event features amnesty day at the landfill, plus old prescription medicine and flags can be turned in for disposal

Volunteers from Lee County work to clean trash from the roadway during the Great American Cleanup in 2013. (Special Photo)

Volunteers from Lee County work to clean trash from the roadway during the Great American Cleanup in 2013. (Special Photo)

LEESBURG _ When Jim Wright, Lee County’s director of Code Enforcement, does spring cleaning, he goes about it in a big way.

Since 2006, Wright and a large number of volunteers have disposed of 39 tons of debris that otherwise would have been on Lee County’s roadways or in its bodies of water.

This year’s version of the Great American Cleanup in Lee County is Saturday from 8 a.m. until noon. Anyone wishing to participate at any time this year should contact the Lee County Chamber of Commerce at (229) 759-2422. Wright said the volunteers will be cleaning up right-of-ways, stormwater systems, parks and playgrounds.

“Our primary interest is trying to get trash and debris clear and improve the quality of storm water discharged into our waterways,’ Wright said. “This is part of the city and county stormwater management program. … It’s one of the things we told EPD (Environmental Protection Division) we would do.”

Wright says he hopes at least 100 volunteers turn out for the cleanup effort.

He said Saturday will be an amnesty day at the Lee County Landfill at 759 Georgia Highway 32 East. County residents can bring unwanted items to the landfill without having to pay a dumping fee. All items must be sorted by the owner upon arrival. No hazardous materials can be accepted and the amnesty applies to a maximum of four tires per household. Household garbage cannot be accepted, Wright said.

The Lee Sheriff’s Office and Code Enforcement will be removing metal debris from roadways and intersections with trailer-mounted magnets.

“We’ll be using these magnets — and they are very strong — at intersections and along the roadway to collect metal that may have fallen off vehicles,” Wright said. “It keeps this debris from getting stuck in a tire or becoming airborne and possibly injuring someone. You’d be surprised at the thousands of little items that come up off the road.”

Saturday’s program also includes an opportunity for Lee residents to turn in non-serviceable United States, Confederate, military service and state flags. Wright said all flags taken in will be given to the American Legion for proper and respectful disposal.

Also, Lee residents can have unwanted prescription medicines turned in for disposal with no questions asked. The prescriptions can be taken or the Lee County Sheriff’s Office or the Leesburg Police Department, or residents can call Code Enforcement at (229) 759-6023 to have the medications picked up.

Wright suggested that the prescriptions be tied in a plastic bag for disposal.

Wright said the volunteers will be working in Lee County, Leesburg and Smithville. For Lee residents who can’t show up to help with the community effort, Wright suggests “cleaning up around their own property.”

Wright said the next cleanup for Lee County will be the Rivers Alive event in October. Wright and volunteers clean up local waterways when Georgia Power’s dam is closed to draw lake and creek levels down for maintenance.