CAVE CLEANUP IN PULASKI Trash cache Years worth of dumping lie at bottom of 80-foot pit By Bill Estep HERALD-LEADER.COM
WHETSTONE --With a lot of digging, hauling and sweating, a sizable reminder of the time when many people in Kentucky dumped trash in sinkholes beside the road and at the back of the farm is being cleaned away near Shopville in Pulaski County.
The task is to haul generations of garbage out of a cave. When it's done, the trash will no longer threaten groundwater quality, and conditions will be better for bats.
"It's just an amazing project," said David Foster, executive director of the American Cave Conservation Association.
The cave is called Saltpeter Pit because it once was a source of the gunpowder ingredient, maybe during the War of 1812. It is in a rural, hilly part of eastern Pulaski County.
The entrance to the cave, in the edge of some woods, is perhaps 15 feet wide, with a sheer drop of 70 to 80 feet to the cave floor. It apparently was a dumpsite for many, many years before access to garbage pickup began spreading in rural areas of Kentucky in the 1990s.
The mound of trash in the cave was about 40 feet deep, holding several hundred tons of household garbage, appliances and other waste before the project to clean it up began, Foster said.
Local cavers reportedly had dubbed it Mount Trashmore.
The cleanup effort developed after a team from Bat Conservation International found the cave in 2005 while searching for old saltpeter caves in Kentucky, said Jim Kennedy, a resource specialist with the organization.
Post by Brian Roebuck on Aug 30, 2007 5:30:15 GMT -5
I've heard they worked on that mountian of trash all summer and that now it is a mere mole hill. That must've been a huge effort. The ACCA team should be congratulated for taking on such a tough assignment. I imagine the photos of before and after will be quite dramatic!
Brian Roebuck NSS 34626 RL (FE) ----- Caving is far too serious to be taken seriously.