Keep Mercer Clean starting March 20


Bluefield Daily Telegraph

PRINCETON — An annual volunteer effort that has been clearing trash tossed and dumped along Mercer County's roadways is getting ready to start up its 10th year.

The 10th annual Community Cleanup, Keep Mercer Clean, starts March 20 and continues until April 30.

"It's hard to believe it's been this long," said County Commissioner Greg Puckett. "It was right after I became a commissioner."

Puckett said he was inspired to start the county's community cleanup by his mother, teacher Sandra Puckett at Ceres Elementary School, who was very enthusiastic about conservation.

This inspiration eventually led to the Keep Mercer Clean campaign which was recognized with an award several years ago from the National Association of Counties, Puckett said. Many people still come out every year to help with the annual cleanup.

"Trash bothers me to my core. I don't understand why people do it," Puckett said about littering. "Thanks to the campaign we've been able to have hundreds of volunteers come out. Right now we've got a lot of people out picking up. We're always looking for more volunteers to come and help clean up their community."

People interested in volunteering for one of the Keep Mercer Clean litter collections can call Litter Control Officer Joshua Parks at 304-320-0036 or go to the Keep Mercer Clean Facebook page.

People can pick up trash bags, gloves and grabbers at the Mercer County Commission's office at the Mercer County Courthouse, Puckett said, adding he hopes the campaign can work with the county and cities to clean up local parks before the busy summer season.

There is another way people can help keep the county clean.

"If you don't litter in the first place, we don't have to worry about cleaning it up," Puckett said. "That makes our job easier."

Besides the roadside efforts against litter, the Keep Mercer Clean campaign offers other ways to reduce the amounts of trash and junk being dumped in the county.

Free garbage disposal is being offered in late March and throughout April. Accumulated solid waste, large appliances, air conditioners and household items will be accepted. Items that will not be accepted include gas/propane tanks, hazardous waste, paint and chemicals, tires, motor oil and free flowing liquids.

The free garbage disposal will be available March 20 at Spanishburg School. It will be available April 6 and April 13 at Lashmeet/Matoaka School and Brushfork School. The free disposal will be offered again April 20 and April 27 at PikeView High School and Oakvale School.

Free tire disposal will be offered April 5 and April 19 at the Mercer Count Landfill from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tires must be off rims.

The Mercer County Landfill will have a Mattress Disposal Day, residential only, on April 3. The landfill will have a Free Day on April 10. Electronics will be accepted April 17 and cardboard will be accepted on April 24.

— Contact Greg Jordan at

Contact Greg Jordan at