Rain puts a damper on West Memphis Cleanup Blitz

Rain puts a damper on West Memphis Cleanup Blitz

Citywide beautification effort will continue


Rain, rain go away but volunteers please come back another day. Keep West Memphis Beautiful Coordinator Councilor Lorraine Robinson hopes individual volunteers, civic, school, work and church groups will come back at their convenience for a day of picking up trash in the city after two scheduled event days were effectively rained out.

The Ward 4 representative spoke just before the downpour washed out hopes on the make up day May 20.

“We hope groups will come back and help pick things up around the city whenever they can this year,” said Robinson.

“Some groups have already called and told me they would.”

City Council heard the need for concerned citizens to continue to help with the volunteer effort to pick up litter in the city. The annual litter index survey of the city revealed the south side and east end of the city need help in particular. The cleanliness rating was a 1.7 this spring compared to a better 1.4 in 2015. Robinson reported the results to city council at its last May meeting.

“Ward 1 of course scored all ones,” said Robinson.

“There was no litter. I was looking for a candy wrapper or something and found nothing. Kudos to that area. Wards 2, 4, 5– we need a little bit more work with the litter in those areas.

Over all the 1.7 score is very good.”

The scale rates litter and junk on a sliding scale one through five with five being the worst.

Council members bandied concerns about junk cars and tire dumping in the city.

“As far as the tires here in the city,” said Councilman James Pulliaum. “We need to get in the legislators ears to get something about tires. If you ride around and look at these different tire shops you’ll see two or three hundred tires around behind some of them. That breeds mosquitoes. We’ve got to figure out something. If a business decides to leave, all those tires will be left on us. We’ve got to get legislation started.”

Tire disposal at the county shop has proven inadequate according to Pulliaum.

“They can’t take on all that,” said Pulliaum.

“Sometimes we go out there and it is already full.”

Councilor Romania Taylor said Boy Scout Troop 225 was doing their best by taking good civic responsibility for tire pick-up. The councilwoman encouraged more groups to do a good turn with their own cleanup initiative.

“I know Boy Scout Troop 225, on their own initiative, went around the Saturday before last and filled a pick-up truck high with tires to take out to the county disposal. I think if we have citizens like that willing to work with us to address this major problem.”

“The closest recycling plant is way up in northwest

Arkansas,” said Pulliaum.

“One of the biggest negative scores on the optional outdoor storage rating was all the junk cars in the city,” said Robinson. “2.5, that’s really bad.”

By John Rech