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Volunteers needed to help with Poga dump site cleanup

John Thompson • Updated Nov 7, 2019 at 6:48 PM

“We need all the help we can get,” Keep Carter County Beautiful President Ed Jordan said when he put out the call for volunteers for an Illegal dump site on Poga Road. The cleanup will take place Saturday, starting at 10 a.m.

The volunteer organization has already conducted several cleanups during the year, including dump sites at the Blue Hole in Stoney Creek and along Teaberry Road in Roan Mountain. Jordan said the latest dump site is in two locations about a quarter of a mile apart along the right of way of Poga Road and is adjacent to the Cherokee National Forest.

Jordan said Keep Carter County Beautiful will be partnering with Ranger Keith Kelly of the U.S. Forest Service; Brett Woodward from the Johnson City Field Office of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation; Channing Taylor, environmental stewardship coordinator with AmeriCorps; Benny Lyons, manager of the Carter County Landfill; and resident Beverlie Margle to organize and schedule the clean-up effort.

Jordan said the terrain at the dump sites is very steep and he said he would not recommend children under 15 participating. Because of the terrain and roads, he said carpooling is recommended.

He said parking can be found at the Elk Mills Volunteer Fire Department. The volunteers will meet at the first dump site on the right of Poga Road, which is on U.S Forest Service property. The cleanup will begin with a safety briefing.

KCCB will provide trash bags, gloves and other supporting items. The Carter County Landfill will provide 40-yard roll-on roll-off dumpsters at both locations. The Forest Service will provide a Bobcat to help in loading dumpsters at the at the first site, Jordan said the effort will need the use of private all-terrain vehicles and pickup trucks with winch cables to help haul bulk items.

Participants can reach the site by taking U.S. Highway 321 toward Boone, N.C. The highway intersects with Poga Road at the Elk Pills Volunteer Fire Station. Turn right on Poga Road. The dump site will be 3.4 miles. Turn off at the T-intersection and cross the Elk River, then turn right on the first road after crossing the river on to Poga Road. Then follow Poga Road to the dump sites on the right.

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