THE SALINA JOURNAL SUNDAY. APRIL 22. gnm Mulching / Caught on here in '90s Litter Bugs Volunteer groups help keep Kansas' roadsides clean FROM PAGE 4 ByAMYSULUVAN The Salina Journal RSC/Barragree has offered mulching mowers since the mid-1980s, he said. The Troy-BUt/Bolens company has been xaaSs.\n% them since the 1960s. "They just didn't catch on until the start of the 1990s out in this part of the country," Cunningham said, in part because of cheap landfiU charges. "People would just throw it in the dumpster and away they'd go." Then about 11 years ago, "people realized they were wasting a resource. You don't have those dirty, dusty bags of wet grass to shake out." More than 90 percent of the mowers he sells have mulching capability, he said. "It's quicker, cleaner and better for your yard," Cunningham said of mulching. "You don't need as much fertilizer or water. With a thick, healthy lawn, that mulch wUl help hold down the weeds." • Reporter Tim Unruh can be reached at 823-6464, Ext. 137, or by e-mail at sjt email@example.com. The first time the Mentor United Methodist Church youth group picked up trash on Interstate Highway 135, they worked hard for five hours. The group was the first to clean the two-mile stretch that begins a mile south of Mentor, said Shirley Sundgren, church member and parent. "We thought ^ye might have to leave (before finishing) because it was getting dark," Sundgren said of that Sunday afternoon six years ago. Jacob Seim, 17, remembers that day. "There were cases of beer, food and lots of paper" to pick up, Seim said. Sore backs that day made kids in the youth group question whether they wanted to stay with the Adopt-a-Highway program, Sundgren said. They had signed on for two years. But since that first clean-up, the job has gotten much easier. The work takes about an hour and a half each time now. It's also a worthwhile project, Sundgren said. "It really ties our church into the surrounding community," Sundgren said. Salina benefits Over anc over and over agam ecycimg Recycling conserves energy, resources and landfill space. It's something each of us can do over and over and over again. For more information, call the KDHE at 1-800-282-9790. WE'VE COT ACOODTHIflG GOIHG HEKE. i DON'T m\ A public awareness initiative from your Kansas Department ofHealtli and Environment "Anyone interested can certainly find a section not too far away from their area" Kim Stich Kansas Department of Transportation spokeswoman Youth group members, now numbering six, came to agree. "People litter," Seim said. "It's a really good deal. If we didn't pick it up, just think where it would lead to." Sometimes the finds are interesting. Seim said in addition to the usual litter, they have found used syringes. That's why adults are required to accompany children, said Kim Stich, Kansas Department of Transportation spokeswoman. No children under 11 are allowed for safety reasons. Everyone must wear the brightly colored safety vests provided and watch a video before going on a cleanup crew. "Certain sections we do not aUow to be adopted," Stich said. "Overpasses and exit ramps wouldn't be safe places to cleain." KDOT began the program in 1990, five years after the first program began in Texas, Stich said. Highway cleanup is a KDOT responsibility, but with volunteers, maintenance workers can spend more time on road repairs, Stich said. The program costs volunteers nothing. Trash bags and vests are provided by KDOT, and the road signs are made in the agency's sign shop. Groups sign on for two years at a time to clean sections of state and U.S. highways. Some groups keep their commitments for several years, while others choose to stop after the two-year period. Stich said most groups choose two miles, but others want one mUe or three miles. More groups are needed, especially in rural areas. Stich said 4,000 of the 10,000 state and U.S. highways in Kansas have been adopted. "Anyone interested can certainly find a section not too far away from their area," Stich said. • Reporter Amy Sullivan can be reached at 823-6464, Ext. 125, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Earth Day Celebratioit April 22, 2001 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Games and Activities for Children focused on conservation and saving our planet. Animal Demonstrations. Name the baby lemur contest, Bring a bag of recyclable aluminum or plastic in and receive 10% off gate admission. <S»!^* Ma CONSERVATION CENTER INC. Trams • Safari Station (Gift shop) The Overlook (Restaurant) 6 miles west of Salina on 1-70 to exit 244, then 2 miles south on Hedville/Culver Road.
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