Progress Report: Craighead County is Cleaning Up

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - In our very first Trashing Region 8 we showed you a site just off Craighead County Road 674.

It was an old gravel pit covered in trash, furniture, and charred debris.

In fact, this very area where we first shot our series is completely cleared away and trash free.

Craighead County Environmental Officer George Johnson says all it took was a few calls and progress started to be seen.

"There were two landowners involved at this site, and both of them were very cooperative, and as you can see, have done a great job of cleaning it up," said Johnson.

He says that's what it's all about, simply bringing light to a problem and getting it corrected.

"Our goal is compliance. It's not to take people to court and get fines. It's for compliance only," said Johnson.

One of the best examples of compliance is right up the hill.

You may recall from the series a truck that was parked on the embankment. We thought they were about to do some illegal dumping, but when we got to the top of the hill we realized it was a home site.

Since our first visit the owner has been working to make progress in his own front yard.

"I'm going to keep on until I get it cleaned up. I'm not going to quit until I get it cleaned up. I hope I'm making good progress. Just like everybody else has been out here working and doing it. I'm going to get it cleaned up," said Taylor.

Branvil Taylor says he's lived at his home for 25 years and says with a disabled wife and finally retiring, he knew it was time to do something.

"I know it needed cleaning up. It helped me and my wife. She can get outside without her walker and the dust and stuff that was collected around. I know it needed to be cleaned up, and I'm going to clean it up," said Taylor.

Johnson says its that very attitude that's making a difference to the environment in Region 8.

"He's made a tremendous difference. All of the class-one stuff is gone. He's working on the cars and some other things that are really beyond what I did ask him to do," said Johnson.

And in the end that's all we're really asking anyone to do is just take a moment to look around.

"We are making progress, and thanks to Channel 8, we are making progress at a pretty rapid speed, I think," said Johnson.

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