ROGERSVILLE — Volunteers are needed Saturday morning to help clean up a massive garbage dump along the northern bank of the Holston River just south of Rogersville.
The cleanup is being organized by Care NET, which is an environmental awareness group active in Hawkins, Hancock and Grainger counties.
The dump that Care NET is taking on Saturday is on McKinney Chapel Road about a mile east of the the Route 66 intersection and Hugh B. Day Bridge.
Care NET’s cleanup is taking place in conjunction with the Cherokee Lake Users Association (CLUA), which has its annual Spring Lake Cleanup at various locations around the lake Saturday from 10 a.m to 2 p.m.
Event coordinator Nancy Bell said some of the garbage washed up during February’s flooding when the river inundated that area.
However, most of the garbage has been dumped over the side of the embankment.
“There’s a little parking area, and then there’s gates, and there is trash that comes in from the river when the water is high,” Bell said. “The bank is very steep, about 10 feet down to the ground level. Some people decided that’s a good place to dump their old furniture — couches, chairs, lots of tires, and then just plain, old, regular trash. It’s a mess.”
Hawkins County Solid Waste is supposed to send a Dumpster to assist with cleanup, and the tires will be set aside for recycling.
“We need help because the bank is really steep, and we need some people who can help us boost stuff over the bank,” Bell said.
Care NET Treasurer Joanne Irvin said the dump is especially horrible considering its proximity to the free county convenience center dump less than three miles away at the intersection of Route 113 and Route 66.
“When I found this place, I was so astounded,” Irvin said. “It’s so big. It’s so close to the river. It’s so central Hawkins County, which is surrounded by convenience centers to dump trash. Why would you dump it on a riverbank when there’s a convenience center about 2.5 miles away that will take all of this stuff? Aside from the couches and tires, there are hundreds and hundreds of bags’ worth of trash we’ll have to pick up.
“For what purpose are they dumping it there rather than taking it another 2.5 miles. It’s infuriating.”
For more information about the cleanup, call Bell at (423) 754-7580 or visit the CARE NET Facebook page.
As for the CLUA events, TVA and several local marinas are teaming up for the Spring Clean Up on Saturday, beginning at 10 a.m. at Black Oaks Marina, Inc., Gilmore Dock, and Lakeside Marina.
TVA has offered to provide a boat or barge and bags, and the event will take place rain or shine. For more information, contact Donna Dunn at (631) 495-0031 or [email protected]