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Rural trash disposal, then and now


The Winston-Salem Journal has a piece this morning on two illegal dumps being discovered and shut down in Stokes County.

Only in the last 35 to 40 years have the rural counties in Piedmont North Carolina cracked down on local dumping and assumed responsibility for trash disposal. Until that time, if you looked behind any rural home, you’d find a gully where bottles, cans, broken bicycles and worn-out couches were tossed. Paper and cardboard usually went into a burn barrel.

House-to-house pickup would be way too expensive for these rural areas, so rural residents these days are expected to bag their trash and take it to local drop-off sites around the county. Recyclable items also are collected.

I only wish that rural counties were as unforgiving of erosion and muddy runoff as they now are of illegal trash disposal. A citizens group to keep an eye on the Yadkin River is working on reviving itself. The Dan could use some help, too. More on muddy rivers another day…

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