Some 25 volunteers from two nonprofit agencies used their own musclepower — and, as seen here, horsepower — to remove a total of 28,500 pounds of trash from the “Scrubtown Sinkhole” in Fort White. The town is about 32 miles northwest of Gainesville. / Photos by Joshua Birmingham

By Sharon Yeago
Farmers Market Coalition

On Saturday, Nov. 3, and again on Nov. 10, about 25 volunteers from Current Problems Inc. and Our Santa Fe River, two local not-for-profits, teamed up to clean up one of the largest local sinkhole trash sites — on Scrubtown Road in Fort White.

The Scrubtown Sinkhole has long served as a depository for various types of trash.

In just the first day, 14,020 pounds of trash were removed in the infamous Scrubtown Sinkhole, which long has served as a place to deposit a variety of household, automotive and other refuse. On the second Saturday, the volunteers collected 14,480 more pounds of trash.

Of greatest concern is the groundwater system that flows through the base of the sinkhole. The waste has the potential to contaminate the drinking-water supply for area residents as well as those who live downstream within the Santa Fe River basin.

Community support, which was essential to achieving these cleanup efforts, included pizza for the volunteers from Tony & Al’s and Pepperoni’s of High Springs. Forty tires were pulled out of the sinkhole by Rogers Tire & Repair. Ongoing support comes from Wayne Kinard of Amigo’s Dive Shop of Fort White.

The cleanup volunteers faced various obstacles, including a climb up the hill, while removing almost 15 tons of trash during two cleanups.

During the second round of sinkhole cleanup, held Nov. 10, Tire Mart of Lake City removed the tires.