Trash and other debris was collected at Pct. 1 as part of Operation Brightside. SUBMITTED

Operation Brightside a success, officials said

Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., Alice Echo-News Journal

The effort paid off for residents of Jim Wells County Precinct 1 during Operation Brightside Saturday afternoon, with more than 500 tires collected between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.

The steady flow of traffic continued all morning and into the afternoon, officials said.

In the end, 100 vehicles and trailers hauled trash and junk materials to the precinct's yard, material that Jim Well County Abatement Officer Hector Zertuche said will not end up on county roads and rights-of-way.

"It seemed like Saturday we got the brunt of the material from Rancho Alegre. They were bringing it in by the truckloads. The traffic was like a parade coming in," Zertuche said.

A portion of one lane on Highway 281 had to be closed off to handle the line of vehicles that wound out of the yard and down the roadway.

As of Monday afternoon, Precinct 1 road and bridge crews were still carrying debris off site, using their dump trucks to haul the trash to the Alice landfill.

Along with the tires, citizens brought in furniture, lumber, wire, brush, oil in gallon cans, sofas, gas tanks and trash bags, Zertuche said.

They were exhausted in the end, Precinct Commissioner Zenaida Sanchez said, but very glad they participated.

"This is one of the most worthwhile projects the City of Alice and Jim Wells County undertakes," Sanchez said. "We've hauled more than 40 truckloads of debris to the landfill so far. We had in excess of 506 tires, probably the most we've ever had since participating in Operation Brightside. It's exciting to see the public so willing to participate."

Sanchez described the event as a win-win situation for everyone involved.

The citizens get a cleaner community, and the city and county get the job done by bringing debris to these trash centers. It was hard work for everyone involved, she said, and something several people say should happen more than twice a year.

"Numerous individuals asked that we do it twice a year, but the final decision is up to the city's administrative staff," Sanchez said.

Along with individuals bringing in trash and other debris, organizations such as the TRiO Program from CBC in Alice collected more than 40 bags of trash from around the community as part of Operation Brightside efforts, county officials said.