Neighbors Helping Neighbors a success

Wednesday, April 29, 2009
The Lewisburg Rotary's Neighbors Helping Neighbors event, held Saturday in The Acres shopping center, was a resounding success. A steady stream of people brought things to give, and even more people came to look for treasures to take away.

Events in the Goodwill parking lot at The Acres shopping center on Saturday bore witness to the fact that Marshall County's heart is in the right place. Blessed with perfect warm, sunny weather, residents turned out in droves to help protect the environment by correctly disposing of their hazardous wastes, and also to help their less-fortunate neighbors with donations of all kinds of household items.

The Lewisburg Rotary's first ever Neighbors Helping Neighbors event was a resounding success. A steady stream of people brought things to give, and even more people came to look for treasures to take away.

"Everything we get, someone takes," said Rotarian Peggy Hubbard.

"The community response has been extremely strong; this has done exactly what we wanted it to do," said her fellow Rotarian Elizabeth McDow, director of Columbia State's Lewisburg site. "We had a Steinway grand piano, and a lot of big furniture. A family from Pulaski brought a load of children's stuff and it was gone 'boom'," said McDow.

Students from the recently-formed Marshall County High School Interact Club were there doing their first service project: helping people load and unload their vehicles.

"The parking lot was covered with people," reported mayoral candidate Barbara Woods who was at The Acres at 6 a.m. to help keep things in order until

Neighbors Helping Neighbors opened at 8 a.m. By about 11:30 a.m. 200 people had signed-in to take items. The big stuff had mostly gone by then, but there were still plenty of clothing and household items on offer.

"A lot of people who needed stuff have been able to get it," said Marshall County Solid Waste director Morgan Thomas. "It worked out good." Thomas was there for the event taking place in the other half of the parking lot: the annual Household Hazardous Waste Day.

Thomas said the turnout for that had been about the same as in previous years: 116 people in the first three hours of the four-hour event. Marshall County residents did not even have to get out of their vehicles when they brought a year's worth of chemicals, automotive fluids, non-latex paint, light bulbs and fluorescent tubes, and electronics like TVs and computer monitors to the event. Workers from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation took complete charge, dividing the hazardous waste by category so that it could be correctly recycled or disposed of.

In 2008, almost 1.4 million pounds of household hazardous waste, including 315,272 pounds of electronics, were collected from 19,799 households at collection events across the state run by TDEC. For more information on the household hazardous waste mobile collection service, please call 1-800-287-9013 or visit