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You load 13 tons and what do you get?
Boy Scouts pick up trash, tires in Great American Cleanup
scouts cleanup 1
Scouts from two different troops collected more than 13 tons of trash and more than 700 tires during the Great American Cleanup. - photo by Photo provided

Two local Scout troops recently planned and carried out the largest service project held in the area in conjunction with the Great American Cleanup, removing “eyesores” and junk thrown out by people.

In Guyton, 14 members of Troop 295, seven adults and seven youths, worked a total of 111 hours and traveled 131 miles to get to 26 dump sites, where they collected 13,800 pounds of junk and 194 tires.

In Pembroke, 10 members of Troop 141, five adults and five youths, worked a total of 86 hours and collected 2,000 pounds of junk and 513 tires in the Black Creek-Ellabell area. They weighed in at the collection site off Highway 280 and proceeded to Camp K.T. Wallace. After having lunch with Troop 295, they collected another 4,900 pounds of junk off old Highway 17 in Pineora.

Commissioner of the newly-formed Twin Rivers District Frank Patterson was asked to plan and coordinate a significant service project for the community. Patterson suggested cleaning up the dump sites. He said besides the trustees and the officers in charge, “there were no other groups in the county that would pick up the big stuff.

“Everyone agrees it is a sad sight to see, all the junk people dump on the roads, knowing that others are forced to look at it day-in, day-out, until someone else comes along and picks it up,” Patterson said. “For those who want to know how it’s done, start by riding the roads yourself. Take a map and a notebook and start marking as you go.”

Patterson called Wanda Price at the county sanitation department and she suggested Ralph Rahn and Courthouse roads. Guyton Police Chief Randy Alexander sent Patterson to Crossgate subdivision and Archer Road, and Guyton City Clerk Debra Scruggs suggested Old Louisville Road. She called city public works director Michael O’Neal and he submitted six roads between Brogdon and 4th Street Extension.

Patterson also flagged down the operator of a road grader on Springfield-Egypt Road and he suggested Harry Lindsay and Porter roads. A postman sent the scouts to Springfield-Tusculum Road.

“Personally, I like to ride the back roads and check the hunting club gates, especially if there’s a power line or gas line,” Patterson said. “It’s just too open and too easy to get in, dump and get out. I spent six hours and $50 in fuel, traveled 150 miles to make the list but wow, did it ever pay off.”

With determination and help, the two troops hauled 26,600 pounds of junk and collected 707 scrap tires. The largest item collected was a 17-foot fiberglass boat that weighed 2,720 pounds.

Patterson said the troops extended their thanks to Canns Recycling for the container in which to put tires and rims and to the sanitation departments of Effingham and Bryan counties.