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Johnson City residents getting into swing of spring cleaning

Jennifer Sprouse • Mar 23, 2013 at 9:28 PM

Spring cleaning was in full swing Saturday, as many locals wanting to get rid of some unnecessary clutter showed up at drop sites around town for the start of the Great American Cleanup season in Johnson City.

This year’s season kicked off at Fairmont Elementary and Mountain View Elementary schools, as well as a drop site set up on the corner of Legion Street and East State of Franklin Road, between 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Anything from shower doors to couches to grills, and even a kitchen sink, were placed in the piles of discarded items.

Kelly Yett, human relations coordinator and eco-coordinator for Food City store No. 629, said her site at the Legion and East State of Franklin intersection had already moved through a couple of containers full of items.

“It started off a little slow, but now we’ve been getting a steady flow of traffic and ... this is our third container, so we’ve been doing really good out here,” Yett said.

She said mostly wood and furniture had been tossed into the piles so far, but she had also seen a few concrete logs, brush and beds added to the mix.

Johnson City resident Chris Reece pulled up to the Legion Street site with a trailer full of items.

“We just got a house down the street. We’re going to be renovating it,” Reece said. “We just had a lot of stuff that had been sitting inside the storage. It’s just desks, old furniture, some landscaping timber, some old brick, concrete, clothes.”

At the Fairmont drop site, Calop Barnett, an East Tennessee State University student volunteer, said one man dropped off an item that appeared to be a metal pole attached to a large rock.

“This guy brought it and said it was off an old oil rig, like the actual drill, and then they made it into the post for a hammock,” Barnett said. “It took three or four of us (to lift it into the container).”

Eva Hunter, director of Keep Johnson City Beautiful, said Saturday’s cleanup crew of consisted of local churches and PTAs, as well as volunteers from Food City. Hunter said each site had around 12 volunteers to help unload items people brought.

She said she was happy to see the community embracing the event.

“It’s going great. The city’s really responding to it,” Hunter said. “When you expand a program like we’ve done with this year’s season, you never know what to expect, but yet, Johnson City continues to amaze me in how the citizens support our programs and I’m just lucky to be a part of it.”

Other items collected at the drop sites included unwanted medications, as well as supplies for teachers, which is part of Extras for Education. The program allows citizens to donate items such as binders, staplers, fabric, paper, glue and pencils.

Hunter said tires and televisions are no longer accepted at the cleanup sites.

The next Great American Cleanup events will be on:

- April 6 — Woodland Elementary School, ETSU and South Side Elementary School.

- April 20 — Cherokee Elementary School, North Side Elementary School and Carver Recreation Center.

- May 4 — Liberty Bell Boulevard, Towne Acres Elementary School and Indian Trail Intermediate School.

For more information about the Great American Cleanup or Extras for Education, call Hunter at 979-6318 or email ehunter@johnsoncitytn.org.

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