Last updated: February 17. 2014 11:41AM - 761 Views
By Kevin Boozer kboozer@civitasmedia.com

This MERT trailer was designed and built by Annette Davis who got assistance from other volunteers. KNCB hopes to build more trailers and sell them to other groups as a Newberry County fundraiser.
This MERT trailer was designed and built by Annette Davis who got assistance from other volunteers. KNCB hopes to build more trailers and sell them to other groups as a Newberry County fundraiser.
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NEWBERRY — How does an old phone book equal a free slushy from Sonic? Both, provided the slushy cup is properly disposed of, can help to keep Newberry County beautiful.

During February, bring an old phone book to Sonic or to the U.S. 121 office of Keep Newberry Beautiful and get a coupon for a free slushy.

Cindy Schumpert, chair of Keep Newberry County Beautiful, told Newberry County Council members that each year 660,000 tons of waste goes into landfills from old phone books, so this was one focal point of the recently certified Keep Newberry County Beautiful (KNCB) Program.

Some boxes are set aside for collecting phone books but there also are boxes for collecting used dry erase markers, empty ink pens and empty ink cartridges, all of which can be recycled into a clean burning fuel.

The March recycling project is a shoes project where recycled and refurbished shoes are sent to third world countries. Keep Newberry Beautiful said that potentially could be a fundraiser but that 7,500 pairs of shoes are needed for it to be a fundraiser.

Anti-litter campaign

In Newberry the city and outlying areas will participate in the Great American Clean Up from March 1 through March 31. Whitmire holds a community cleanup day March 22 and a citywide cleanup day for Newberry will be March 29. Davis said teams of volunteers are needed to help on these days and that is would be a great project for community organizations, scouts or other youth-oriented service groups.

KNCB will also do anti-litter programming in schools.

Grants enable efforts

• Funds from an anti-smoking grant allowed the organization to buy 24 cigarette butt urns that were placed in Whitmire and Little Mountain. KNB also used grant funding to provide camera equipment for law enforcement to monitor high litter areas in Whitmire.

• KNB received an $8,000 grant awarded at the Palmetto Pride Award Luncheon and Davis thanked Rep. Walt Mcleod for his assistance in the county getting that grant.

• Another grant KNB is working on could be used to help with the $250,000 needed to supply carts to the city to help enable city recycling along trash routes.

Newberry College student Morgan Trainor works part-time helping the group write grant proposals.

“This is a hands on six-month plan,” Davis said. “Beautification is next and conservation follows.”

The goal is completion of the grant application by the final Friday in August.

MERT trailer built by hand

At the U.S. 121 office for KNCB there is a trailer filled with supplies, a trailer worth $24,000 but Annette Davis said she, her husband and volunteers built the trailer.

The Mobile Event Recycle Trailer (MERT) was built at cost and the group’s goal is for one of these to be in each area of the county. Davis hopes they can use the trailer as a prototype to build more and make them a fundraiser for Keep Newberry Beautiful.

The trailers can be at festivals and events not only as a reminder to recycle but as a tool festival goers can use to dispose of their trash during the event. That trailer contains bags, orange vests and trash picker uppers for clean-up efforts under the coordination of Doug Huyck.

Davis said that makes for an efficient, safe trash pick up event.

Palmetto Pride and Keep South Carolina Beautiful have supported this group, and Davis thanked district representative Doug Hyatt for his assistance, as well as representatives from Piedmont Tech, Maria McMurtury, and Lander professor Dr. Cynthia Gardner.

She said the group still needs a law enforcement officer as a board member for KNB. She also thanked Mike and Joe Everson, “back wood cachers” who pick up litter on their own as they do geo-caching exploration in rural areas of the county.

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