The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Local News

October 19, 2007

Upper Guyandotte watershed announces successful metal collection

One person’s junk is another’s treasure. For Kelly J. Drey-Houck, the terms are one and the same for one action-packed weekend each autumn.

The executive director of the Upper Guyandotte Watershed Association (UGWA) announced that approximately 150 area residents turned out en masse Oct. 11-13 for her group’s fourth annual appliance and metal collection event in the Dogwood City. They came bearing gifts of a sort, she said, to the tune of more than 30 tons of junk appliances, cars, lawnmowers, bicycles, water heaters — and even a burned-out trailer, which had to be transported in three trips to the collection site.

“This gives people an opportunity to get rid of stuff that they might have trouble getting rid of otherwise. It’s a way to dispose of it properly. We try to discourage illegal dumping,” Drey-Houck explained. “It’s disheartening to think about people dumping their trash (illegally). We want people to understand that it’s so much nicer if everybody would not dump their trash that way.”

The inaugural event took place in November 2004. That year boasted 300 people bringing donations. “Ever since then, it hasn’t been quite that big,” she lamented.

The Mullens Opportunity Center hosts the event for three days each fall, complete with a metal crusher, door prizes and — most importantly for Drey-Houck — volunteers.

“The volunteers were great. We had a lot of people who participated and had a good time.”

Volunteers helped to crush the metal into bales, which will eventually be recycled. Drey-Houck singled out for special recognition UGWA hauling-assistance crews and Mullens city workers.

Other sponsors of the event include Stream Partners, Wyoming County Solid Waste Authority, Wyoming County Day Report Center, the state Department of Environmental Protection and Wyoming County schools, Drey-Houck noted, along with a lengthy list of individuals who were indispensable to the event’s success.

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