The numbers don't lie.
Vicki Carpenter, with Keep Morehouse Beautiful, said the cleanup events held throughout this year that offered dumpsters for residents at no charge yielded 110 tons of debris.
That's 21 tons more than KMB collected in all of 2011.
“It was a fantastic year, and I don't know if we'll be able to match that again,” Carpenter said yesterday, readying to attend a Keep Louisiana Beautiful event.
“We are making progress (cleaning up the parish). It's not as fast as I would like. But we are, little by little.”
Last weekend, in addition to offering six dumpsters on Kammell Street, KMB – in cooperation with the Morehouse Parish chapter of the LSU AgCenter, the sheriff's office, the City of Bastrop and the Village of Mer Rouge – designated the old Mer Rouge High School as the place farmers could dispose of abandoned tractor tires.
Volunteers estimate that slightly more than 80 tires were collected.
The number surprised volunteers.
“It was fantastic: to think that these tires, which farmers didn't know what to do with, were just sitting and were homes to breeding mosquitoes,” Carpenter offered.
The tire collection marked the first time that KMB has made an organized effort to remove them from the more than 250,000 acres of farmland in the parish.
It may not be the last. Carpenter said that the organization may look for a better location next time partly because farmers would be better familiar with the opportunity.
“We suspect that there are even more old tires sitting around,” she said.
While the charge to residents to drop off debris in the dumpsters costs them nothing but labor, use of a dumpster from Waste Management costs KMB $350.
Carpenter said KMB pays for use of the dumpsters during the year with donations and a grant from Union Pacific Railroad.
The City of Bastrop, she said, pitches in by picking up garbage overflow and transports it to the city garage for further disposal.
The last project of the year for KMB involves finishing physical improvements at Carter Park.