By Wes Ramey
Last month, Dollywood announced the addition of Lightning Rod, both the world’s fastest wood coaster and the world’s first launching wood coaster. While the thrilling $22 million ride marks the single largest attraction investment in The Dollywood Company’s history, that investment will extend to keeping the ride’s construction area clean as the first litter free construction site in Pigeon Forge.
Dollywood, in conjunction with ride manufacturer Rocky Mountain Construction, has committed to being an initial partner with Keep Sevier Beautiful’s Litter Free Construction Program. This unique program educates workers and supervisors on proper disposal of waste and encourages them to maintain the property of the entire construction site, including incidental litter and debris. “Any litter within the site reflects upon the company, and pride in the construction site and in the beauty of our Smoky Mountain area is the key to the success of this program,” said Keep Sevier Beautiful (KSB) Board Chair Tom Leonard.
“The natural beauty of this region is unparalleled and it is important for us to preserve that charm for visitors and residents of our community,” said Gene Scherrer, Dollywood vice president and general manager. “As we continue to work on ensuring we leave a positive footprint on our environment, we knew the Litter Free Construction Program was one in which we wanted to take part. Lightning Rod is a world-class attraction and we want the construction site to reflect the extraordinary quality we expect from the ride. We hope this program will educate construction site employees, as well as the general public, on the importance of maintaining orderly and clean work sites throughout Sevier County.”
As part of the Litter Free Construction Program, the City of Pigeon Forge has provided a dumpster for the collection of garbage in the form of office/food wastes/litter and waives the associated hauling fee. Keep Sevier Beautiful will provide specifically marked individual litter collection containers for the construction site, and Dollywood is responsible for emptying these containers into the dumpster as well as providing litter pickup labor, making sure the policy is followed and workers are educated about the program. In addition, all waste leaving the construction site must be covered to prevent negligent litter.
Keep Sevier Beautiful will designate the Lightning Rod construction area as a participant in the Litter Free Construction Program with a sign in front of the construction site. The site will be visited by a KSB representative regularly for the purpose of assessing the level of litter visible on the site and will continue for the length of the project, which opens in March 2016.