Inmates help keep Frederick County roadways clean

Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center inmate David Shamer, of Martinsburg, picks up trash along Reynolds Road near the West Virginia line in western Frederick County. Rich Cooley/Daily

The Frederick County Clean Sweep program enlists the help of inmates at the Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center through their Community Inmate Workforce program to pick up litter along the county’s major roadways.

Gloria Puffinburger, solid waste manager with Frederick County, said they have recently collected over 200 bags of trash over one weekend in March between Crown, Cork and Seal Roads, and the Rt. 522 North exit on Route 37.

“March and April are by far our busiest time of the year,” she said. “Once the winter weather has cleared, litter is much more visible. We are also working to get ahead of the Apple Blossom Festival and the mowers.”

The county’s litter initiative, Clean Sweep, was formed in 2006 and consists of a trustee workforce provided by the detention center and a part-time county crew leader who supervises the trustees.

The crew includes two to four trustees who work about 20 hours each week, weather permitting, to collect litter. Clean Sweep would like to include people seeking court-mandated community service hours in their program in the future.

The detention center also adopted two county roads, Aylor and Sulpher Springs roads, through the state’s Adopt-a-Highway program.

The Virginia Department of Transportation’s Stephens City office transports the bagged trash to the regional landfill. The litter bagged along I-81 is coordinated through VDOT’s Staunton office.

Last year, 58,900 pounds of roadside litter was collected along the county’s primary and secondary roads.

A local school is also getting involved with roadway cleanup.

“Staff and students of Stonewall Elementary School are heading up a community clean sweep,” Puffinburger said, “as part of Earth Day.”

The group will meet at the school at 8 a.m. April 23 where they will be joined by the Frederick County Clean Sweep with supplies to help out. They will be cleaning along Martinsburg Pike and Rest Church Road until noon.

The lead teacher for this event is Carrie White, a first grade teacher at the school.

Puffinburger added, “Mrs. White hopes to get her first graders to make posters bearing litter prevention messages.”

Contact staff writer Kaley Toy at 540-465-5137 ext. 176, or ktoy@nvdaily.com