JEFFERSON — After a year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Earth Week will return to Marion County next week, allowing residents there to dispose of their trash, free of charge, at all county dump sites.

The free dump disposal week will be held, leading up to the national observation of Earth Day.

“Well, many folks have been asking when are we going to have Earth Week again, and Earth Day just happens to be Thursday, April 22,” said Pct. 1 Commissioner JR Ashley.

Ashley made the motion to set the dates of Earth Week Friday, April 16, to Sunday, April 25.

“That gives two full weekends,” he said. “You have two Fridays and two Saturdays and two Sundays, and maybe that will cover enough folks, the same hours, normal hours of each area.”

Marion County Judge Leward LaFleur said Earth Week gives residents a chance to do some needed spring cleaning.

“Whenever that dump site is open, Marion County residents can bring their stuff and dump it for free,” he said. “It’s usually like spring cleaning.”

He said residents have been looking forward to the week to return since last year.

“They’ve been sitting in their house for the last week getting rid of stuff,” he said. “We couldn’t do it last year; we were really nervous about county employees being exposed to COVID.”

Throughout the year residents typically have to purchase a dump ticket, which allots them only a certain amount of punches to be able to dispose of their waste. During Earth Week, the disposals can be used free of charge.

During Earth Week, however, no brush, tires, shingles, paint products, batteries, fiberglass, or boats will be allowed. Oil will be accepted at the Precinct No. 2 dumpsite only.

Dumpsites will be open regular hours and days, LaFleur noted. The Precinct No. 1 dumpsite will be open from noon to 4 p.m. Monday and Wednesday; and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday. The Precinct No. 2 dumpsite will be open from noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday and Sunday; and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday.

The Precinct No. 3 dumpsite will be open noon to 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday; and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday. The Precinct No. 4 site will be open noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday.

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