Heartland Eyesores - Cleaning it Up

Heartland Eyesores - Cleaning it Up
By: Arnold Wyrick
Saline County, IL - Imagine walking, or riding your bicycle through your neighborhood, and seeing yard, after yard piled up with garbage and debris. Well that's exactly what two ladies in the community of Ledford say they're dealing with, on a daily basis.
"I've lived in this community for my entire life. We used to have a school, a school board, even a little store on the highway. Some people had a lot, others had very little. But those people still took pride in what they had," says Kathy McKendree of Ledford.
"The yards were clean, the houses were clean. And it was just a really good place to live. That's no longer the case, all you see now is rundown mobile homes, and junk piled up in peoples yards."
So McKendree and her daughter decided to do something about the mess building up in their neighborhood. They photographed twelve of the worst properties and filed a complaint with the Egyptian Health Department.
"I just want everybody to take pride in what they own. And show respect, bring it back to what it was. And you know clean up their properties to where we're not afraid to let the kids run and play," says Stephanie McCluskey of Ledford.
But the ladies say they're not getting much help from Egyptian Health Department.
"It's just really hard to even get a county officer, or anybody out here to do anything," McKendree said.
A spokesperson with the Egyptian Health Department tells Heartland News they're well aware of the problems in Ledford.
"In Saline County alone we have over 25 cases. We have one Solid Waste Coordinator, and he's working very diligently to address all these cases. We can not neglect our current cases. But we're doing everything we possibly can to investigate each one of these situations," says Jodi Wilson.
And Wilson points out compliance from residents in the county could move things along much faster with Egyptian Health Departments clean up efforts.
"When they don't it's a long drawn out process, because we have an agreement with Saline County. And they do the enforcement. So we just investigate the cases. And then we file our report with the county," Wilson said.
Since Egyptian Health Department began their clean up effort back in March, in Saline, Gallatin and White Counties, they're working more then 50 complaints in those counties.
If a resident chooses not to comply with a county's request to clean up their property, the owner could be arrested, and fined.

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Trash Facts
  • We throw away more than 160 million tons of solid waste each year in the U.S.
  • It takes more than 500,000 trees to make the newspapers Americans read on one Sunday.
  • If the pilgrims had used aluminum cans at the first Thanksgiving, the cans would still be around today.
  • Aluminum is America’s most recycled product (We recycle 50% of our aluminum cans.).
  • Producing a recycled aluminum can takes only 5% of the energy required to make a new one.
  • Product packaging accounts for 30% of the weight and 50% of the volume in our household waste.
  • $1 out of every $10 we spend on food pays for packaging.
  • A plastic cup can take 50 – 80 years to decompose.
  • When you recycle 1 aluminum can, you save enough energy to run a 100 watt light bulb for about 3 and a half hours.
  • Recycled plastic can be used to make things like trash cans, park benches, playground equipment, decks, and kayaks.
  • Special fleece-like fabrics can be made out of recycled plastic bottles.

Source:  Ferguson Foundation