‘Pulaski County Clean Sweep’ falls on Earth Day, brings hundreds of volunteers

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Employees of Kia participate in 'Pulaski County Clean Sweep' 04/22/21

PULASKI COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – On this Earth Day, people in Somerset are participating in their annual Eastern Kentucky clean up.

President of ‘Eastern Kentucky Pride’ Tammie Nazario has organized the Pulaski County Clean Sweep for 11 years now.

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“One person can make a difference,” Nazario said. “Everybody takes a very big part in caring for their community and we just think that’s just incredible.”

Nazario said the clean-up garners more than 1,000 volunteers each year across 41 counties in Eastern Kentucky, resulting in more than 2,000 bags of trash collected.

With this year’s event falling on Earth Day, Nazario said she couldn’t have planned more perfect timing.

“What better way to give back to Mother Earth than to get out, clean her up a little bit, Nazario said. “Let’s show our appreciation for our surroundings and our environment.”

Volunteers said they know it can be tempting to throw unwanted trash out your window as you’re driving along, but urges everyone to think about the impact on the environment before doing so.

“All of this stuff that we’re picking up is so random – cat food, boxes,” Nancy Whitis, president of the Somerset-Pulaski County Morning Rotary Club, said. “We found a floppy disk. Most people don’t even know what that is anymore.”

Whitis works as an EMS and took her lunch break early to clean trash off the side of the highway.

“It’s very important,” Whitis said. “If you have trash, keep it in your car, take it in your house, put it in your trash can. Teach your kids the same.”

Jeff Hudson agrees. He’s a salesperson at Kia in Somerset, one of the many businesses with employees who help out each year.

“We can’t necessarily control folks passing on the major roads here and throwing things out, but we can go behind them and clean up,” Hudson said.

It’s all in efforts to make their community, and the place we all call home, healthy and beautiful.