Cleanup reports released after community volunteers collect debris as a part of Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake cleanup days

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Homeowners at Bernard’s Landing use Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake’s signature orange bags to collect debris along the shoreline and beach during their event in May. Twenty-six volunteers participated, kicking off the day with coffee and donuts. (Photo Courtesy: Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake)

SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE, Va. (WFXR) — Community volunteers collected about 32,500 pounds of debris as a part of Take Pride in Smith Mountain Lake cleanup days.

Although the amount collected in May fell short of the numbers from 2019, organizers have a positive outlook on the progress made.

“The lingering pandemic definitely played a role in the reduction of debris collected this year, but we’re still extremely happy about the progress made toward cleaning up SML prior to the opening of the season,” said John Rupnik, president of the Smith Mountain Lake Association (SMLA).

The cleanup committee relied on communities and homeowners/property owners’ associations to clean up near their respective buildings due to COVID-19 restrictions. They encouraged neighborhood groups, businesses, civic organizations, families and individuals to plan their own clean-up events in May. Supplies and commercial dumpsters were provided.

“We’re hoping to return to a hybrid model for Take Pride next year. That will allow the committee to once again plan structured events at various marinas around the lake the first three weekends of May, in addition to the individual group efforts. Our annual cleanup days are so important to the overall health, beauty and safety of Smith Mountain Lake. We can’t thank our volunteers and sponsors enough for stepping up to support Take Pride in SML.”

Paula Shoffner, Executive Director of TLAC

According to the cleanup report, 166 people worked on 48 miles of shoreline, filling 190 trash bags and hauling debris. The items they generally collect are plastic and glass bottles, beverage cans, plastic bags, tires, and food wrappers and containers. However, they also found a paddle boat, a toilet seat and lumber with carpet attached.

The complete cleanup report can be accessed online or at the TLAC office located at the upper level of The Plaza, 400 Scruggs Road, Suite 200 in Moneta. 

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