Ninety-five University of Mount Olive students in various athletic programs participated in the second annual townwide litter sweep held on Oct. 5.
The sweep was a partnership project of the university, the town of Mount Olive and the North Carolina Department of Transportation.
Officials said the students helped rid the town of trash by filling up 100 large trash bags during their morning-long sweep throughout town.
Mount Olive proper has 26 miles of streets.
The project was organized by UMO Assistant Track and Field Coach Justin Potter and UMO’s Director of Cross Country Earl Graves. Head Wrestling Coach Jake Patacsil and members of his team also participated.
The 9 a.m. until noon sweep kicked off with the students fanned out at all entrances to the town, and from there, they worked their way back to the UMO campus in a cool, Saturday morning drizzle.
Mayor Joe Scott and Commissioners Barbara Kornegay, Harlie Carmichael, Dennis Draper, and Vicky Darden worked with the Mount Olive Newcomers Club to feed the students once they completed the sweep and returned to campus.
Trash bags, reflector vests and gloves were provided by DOT.
The students dropped the filled bags of trash beside the streets. The bags were picked up by Mount Olive public works personnel.
Town Manager Charles Brown said there was “a great turnout” for the sweep.
And, just last weekend, members of the Concerned Citizens Group headed by Hobert Yates also staged a cookout and cleanup project that began at Nelson Street Park. It was an 8 a.m. until noon project and the town assisted in providing trash bags and bag pickup personnel.
Mount Olive Town Commissioner Steve Wiggins commented under the Commissioner‘s Comments portion of last week’s monthly board meeting that such service type projects are much more than just service projects.
“They are events that bring a community together,” Wiggins said.