Keep Fayetteville-Lincoln Beautiful celebrates 25 years

Gail Randolph

Gail Randolph

For more than two decades Keep Fayetteville-Lincoln County Beautiful, formerly C.L.E.A.N., has been on a mission to develop responsible solutions for a clean environment through awareness in litter prevention, solid waste management, recycling and beautification programs.

On Saturday, KFLCB held a celebration at the Lincoln County Museum to commemorate its 25th year. About 200 individuals, past board members and others who were instrumental to the organization over the years were invited. A celebration for the general public will be held during America Recycles Day on Nov. 15.

The organization and its directors through the years have won multiple awards from the Keep America Beautiful system.

While the name has changed to reflect more closely its association to the national organization, Keep America Beautiful, and state Keep Tennessee Beautiful, the biggest change is the increase in services it offers to the public.

The organization was founded on April 7, 1987. Its purpose was to change attitudes toward the problem of “litter disease” and promote change through education, beautification and awards programs. It was to cause the reestablishment of community pride and quality of life within the community.

In May 1988, the C.L.E.A.N. Committee Project Team attended a pre-certification conference in Memphis to become certified in the Keep America Beautiful System. On Nov. 29, 1989, C.L.E.A.N. was officially certified in the KAB program.

In the spring of 2004, Gail Randolph became KFLCB executive coordinator, taking the reins from Gail Sandlin, who served in that capacity for a decade.

“Things have really changed,” said Randolph.

In the early days, C.L.E.A.N. started out with one bailer, donated by Frito-Lay, that was used for bailing several recyclable materials.

Schools, businesses, corporations and volunteers from all sectors of the community got involved in the program and began collecting items for recycling. Groups also volunteered to pick up litter in specific areas and also during the Great American Cleanup.

Later, a 1997 grant from the Tennessee Department of the Environment and Conservation helped C.L.E.A.N. buy a cardboard compactor to help process cardboard quickly. It held 10 tons of cardboard, or about two months accumulation of cardboard, at that time.

Teams joined the Adopt-a-Highway program, which has been expanded to include roads other than state highways.

“We do an Adopt-a-Lincoln County Roads,” says Randolph.

The Adopt-a-Spot campaign, for the purpose of beautification of the county, is one more facet of the program.

During the May 3, 1989 Operation CLEAN Sweep, the Belleview Community won first place in the Litter Mania countywide competition. At that time, five tons of recyclables were kept out of the landfill. About 898 volunteers participated in the event.

Other events have been the Glad Bag-A-Thon and the Household Hazardous Waste Day.

Since then, the recycling totals have greatly increased. In 2012 the recycling totals for KFLCB were astounding, with a total of 460.06 tons of recyclables collected.

This included sheet iron, aluminum, plastics, plastic bottle caps, white paper, mixed paper, newspaper, cardboard, glass and electronics.

Many more items may be dropped off at the Recycling Center these days. Those items include newspaper, junk mail, magazines, books, cardboard, plastic (1-7), shopping bags, glass bottles and jars, aluminum and food cans, electronics and oil based and latex paint.

Books in good condition are now collected in the KFLCB office, located in the old Davidson Iron Works building, next to the recycling center on Main Avenue South. KFLCB’s book adoption program provides the opportunity for anyone to take home a book or books for a small donation to the organization. The books are located in the office building right next to the recycling area.

More than a decade ago, the grind-a-pine program was instituted, which, in partnership with Fayetteville Public Utilities, turns Christmas trees into mulch for gardens. The mulch is available to anyone in the community. Another type of mulch recently made available to the public is the result of recycled, ground and polished glass that may be used in driveways or on flowerbeds.

In addition to the recycling center located at 705

Main Avenue South, there are also trailers located at public drop off locations in conveniencecenters in Taft and Flintville, as well as the Flintville Volunteer Fire Station. Franke Food Services also uses a trailer for recycling cardboard in Fayetteville.

“The four trailers we just got are part of a state equipment grant,” says Randolph.

Looking toward the future, Gail said she hopes KFLCB will soon have a drive-through window on the south side of the recycling center. Additionally there will be more emphasis on the beautification project.

Posted on Friday, September 20, 2013 at 9:00 am