Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Michael Babb, Linda Babb, March 28, 2007

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:05 - Interview introduction

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Partial Transcript: Today is March 28th, 2007.

Segment Synopsis: Lackey begins the interview by introducing the Babbs.

00:00:42 - L. Babb's personal history

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Partial Transcript: Um, we'll start just with some of your personal background.

Segment Synopsis: L. Babb discusses her personal history, living in Caryville, Tennessee before moving to McCreary County, Kentucky. She describes how her childhood homes were without running water until moving to a coal camp, and she describes how her family would get water for drinking.

Keywords: Childhood homes; Family; Growing up; Kentucky; Mines; Mining; Outhouses; Tennessee; Water

Subjects: Caryville (Tenn.); Childhood; Families.; McCreary County (Ky.); Plumbing.; Sewerage.; Water quality.

GPS: Caryville (Tenn.)
Map Coordinates: 36.319933, -84.21604
00:04:33 - M. Babb's personal history

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Partial Transcript: Um, well what about you, Mike?

Segment Synopsis: M. Babb discusses his childhood and his family situation. He talks about how his family was in the logging business and about his childhood homes always having running water.

Keywords: Childhood homes; Family; Growing up; Kentucky; Logging; Running water; Tennessee; Water

Subjects: Childhood; Families.; McCreary County (Ky.); Plumbing.; Sewerage.; Water quality.; Winfield (Tenn.)

GPS: Winfield (Tenn.)
Map Coordinates: 36.561944, -84.450556
00:06:54 - Childhood recreation

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Partial Transcript: Um, this might be similar for both of you, I'm not sure.

Segment Synopsis: The Babbs discuss what they would each do when they were kids for recreation. They both focus on outdoor activities and L. Babb describes how children today have a different experience because of technology, and how she feels about that change.

Keywords: Childhood homes; Children; Family; Forests; Games; Growing up; Kids; Outdoors; Playing; Technology; Water; Water quality; Woods

Subjects: Childhood; Families.; Kentucky.; Recreation; Tennessee.

00:10:14 - Childhood solid waste disposal

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Partial Transcript: What about trash over the years?

Segment Synopsis: The Babbs discuss how each of their families would dispose of solid waste during their childhood. L. Babb describes how her family would dump some of their garbage, and burn or recycle the rest. M. Babb, on the other hand, always had garbage collection at his homes.

Keywords: Burning trash; Childhood homes; Dumps; Family; Garbage; Garbage collection; Growing up; Kentucky; Recycling; Solid waste; Trash; Trash collection; Waste collection; illegal dumps

Subjects: Childhood; Pollution.; Refuse and refuse disposal.; Tennessee.; Waste disposal sites

00:13:03 - High school and work experience

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Partial Transcript: Linda, I'll start with you again. Um, when did you--where did you go to hi--where did you graduate from high school and about when?

Segment Synopsis: The Babbs discuss their educational and work experience. Both graduated high school and started working, L. Babb in a jewelry store and M. Babb at a trailer building company. Both detail how they came to work with solid waste in McCreary County.

Keywords: Careers; High schools; Jewelry stores; Jobs; Kentucky; Logging; Manufacturing; Oneida High School; Solid waste; Whitley City (Ky.); Work; Work experience

Subjects: Education.; Employment--Kentucky; McCreary County (Ky.)

00:17:30 - Solid waste in McCreary County

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Partial Transcript: Well let me go ahead and ask you...

Segment Synopsis: The Babbs describe how McCreary County's solid waste system works. L. Babb discusses the franchise agreement the county has for trash collection. They describe the participation of citizens in trash collection, and L. Babb discusses her role and powers as solid waste coordinator. They also discuss enforcement of littering and dumping laws and who works for solid waste in the county.

Keywords: Community service; Enforcement; Garbage; Garbage collection; Illegal dumping; Illegal dumps; Litter (Trash); Littering; Roadside litter; Scott Solid Waste; Solid waste; Trash collection; Trash pickup; Waste Management

Subjects: Environmental law.; McCreary County (Ky.); Pollution.; Refuse and refuse disposal.; Waste disposal sites

GPS: McCreary County (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 36.74, -84.48
00:25:34 - First experience with Personal Responsibility in a Desirable Environment (PRIDE)

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Partial Transcript: Well let me, uh, take you back a little and see if you remember this. Um, when and how did you first hear about PRIDE?

Segment Synopsis: The Babbs describe how and when they first heard about PRIDE. L. Babb discusses how efforts with PRIDE have increased since she became solid waste coordinator, and both describe how the idea of "pride" has resonated in McCreary County. L. Babb also discusses the kinds of grants the county gets now and the efforts they are making in regard to solid waste cleanup.

Keywords: Cleanup; Grants; Illegal dumping; Illegal dumps; Litter (Trash); Littering; Personal Responsibility in a Desirable Environment (PRIDE); Solid waste; Solid waste coordinators

Subjects: Environmental protection; Environmentalism; McCreary County (Ky.); Pollution.; Refuse and refuse disposal.; Roadside litter; Waste disposal sites

GPS: McCreary County (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 36.74, -84.48
00:28:45 - PRIDE grants / public awareness

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Partial Transcript: Well now, now if you, you first started in you said, let's see, in 2002. Do you remember how, how did you find out grants were available, that PRIDE was available to you?

Segment Synopsis: L. Babb discusses how she came to know about PRIDE grants and how important PRIDE funding is to McCreary County's solid waste program. The Babbs both discuss how public awareness has grown so much thanks to PRIDE's help and how the county is improving due to that. L. Babb also discusses her newspaper column "Let's Talk Trash."

Keywords: Budgets; Cleanup; Grants; Illegal dumping; Illegal dumps; Litter (Trash); Littering; Media; Personal Responsibility in a Desirable Environment (PRIDE); Public awareness; Solid waste; Solid waste coordinators; Volunteers

Subjects: Environmental protection; Environmentalism; McCreary County (Ky.); Pollution.; Refuse and refuse disposal.; Roadside litter; Waste disposal sites

GPS: McCreary County (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 36.74, -84.48
00:34:54 - Illegal dump cleanup

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Partial Transcript: Well, um, on the dump side--now you use, uh, your PRIDE grant, you've got community grants and the super grants which are for the more--the, the larger than fifty-thousand dollar dumps.

Segment Synopsis: The Babbs discuss how citizens have been supportive of dump cleanup efforts. They describe how people inform L. Babb of dumps and they describe their first super grant that was used to clean up the Tunnel Ridge, a well-known dump in the area.

Keywords: Budgets; Cleanup; Grants; Illegal dumping; Illegal dumps; Litter (Trash); Littering; Personal Responsibility in a Desirable Environment (PRIDE); Solid waste; Solid waste coordinators; Tunnel Ridge; Volunteers

Subjects: Environmental protection; Environmentalism; McCreary County (Ky.); Pollution.; Refuse and refuse disposal.; Roadside litter; Waste disposal sites

GPS: McCreary County (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 36.74, -84.48
00:38:15 - Dump recurrence

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Partial Transcript: And that's something I want to be sure to ask you, what about re-dumping?

Segment Synopsis: The Babbs discuss the county's trouble with people dumping in cleaned up dump sites. They discuss the efforts to stop this dump recurrence.

Keywords: Cleanup; Illegal dumping; Illegal dumps; Litter (Trash); Littering; Personal Responsibility in a Desirable Environment (PRIDE); Recurrence; Roadside litter; Solid waste

Subjects: Environmental law.; Environmental protection; Environmentalism; McCreary County (Ky.); Pollution.; Refuse and refuse disposal.; Roadside litter; Waste disposal sites

GPS: McCreary County (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 36.74, -84.48
00:40:00 - Litter

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Partial Transcript: Well what about the litter, uh, issue?

Segment Synopsis: The Babbs discuss the issue with litter that McCreary County experiences. They describe how they think people are becoming more aware of the issues with littering due to the growth in volunteers for county cleanups.

Keywords: Cleanup; Illegal dumping; Illegal dumps; Involvement; Litter (Trash); Littering; Personal Responsibility in a Desirable Environment (PRIDE); Public awareness; Solid waste; Volunteering

Subjects: Environmental protection; Environmentalism; McCreary County (Ky.); Pollution.; Refuse and refuse disposal.; Roadside litter; Voluntarism; Volunteers; Waste disposal sites

GPS: McCreary County (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 36.74, -84.48
00:41:23 - Water quality / education

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Partial Transcript: Um, now, we've been talking mainly about solid waste 'cause, of course, that's your, your all's expertise, I guess.

Segment Synopsis: The Babbs discuss their knowledge of what McCreary County is doing in regard to water quality and environmental education, focusing on PRIDE's septic program and L. Babb's visits to local schools.

Keywords: Childhood education; Children; Cleanup; Education; Personal Responsibility in a Desirable Environment (PRIDE); Schools; Septic; Septic systems; Septic tanks; Sewers; Solid waste; Water

Subjects: Environmental education.; Environmental protection; Environmentalism; McCreary County (Ky.); Plumbing.; Pollution.; Sewerage.; Water quality.

GPS: McCreary County (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 36.74, -84.48
00:42:55 - Active groups and businesses in McCreary County

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Partial Transcript: Um, I gu--we might have touched on this a little bit but who do you think, i--have there been certain groups that have been most active with PRIDE in McCreary County?

Segment Synopsis: The Babbs discuss which groups and businesses have been most active in McCreary County, including the Girl Scouts, PRIDE clubs, and Kroger. They also discuss the Spring picnic that McCreary County has after their Spring cleanup.

Keywords: Businesses; Children; Cleanup; Clubs; Dumps; Education; Girl Scouts; Illegal dumping; Illegal dumps; Kroger; Litter (Trash); Personal Responsibility in a Desirable Environment (PRIDE); Solid waste; Volunteering; Volunteerism

Subjects: Environmental protection; Environmentalism; McCreary County (Ky.); Pollution.; Refuse and refuse disposal.; Roadside litter; Voluntarism; Volunteers; Waste disposal sites

GPS: McCreary County (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 36.74, -84.48
00:44:41 - Dump site anecdote

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Partial Transcript: Um, agai--you've told me--some--I, I've made some notes on one story about the Tunnel Ridge road dump especially.

Segment Synopsis: [Warning: Animal Abuse]

The Babbs discuss a colorful story in which the two of them and Mark Davis (a PRIDE field representative) looked at a dump site in the woods and had a few frightening experiences.

Keywords: Animals; Cleanup; Danger; Illegal dumping; Illegal dumps; Litter; Littering; Personal Responsibility in a Desirable Environment (PRIDE); Roadside litter; Solid waste; Solid waste coordinators

Subjects: Environmental protection; Environmentalism; McCreary County (Ky.); Pollution.; Refuse and refuse disposal.; Waste disposal sites

GPS: McCreary County (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 36.74, -84.48
00:51:13 - Creating jobs in the community

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Partial Transcript: Well, did you have any trouble getting that site cleaned up?

Segment Synopsis: The Babbs discuss how contractors cleaning up dump sites allow local citizens to get jobs during the cleanup and sometimes after the dump is cleared.

Keywords: Cleanup; Contractors; Economics; Illegal dumping; Illegal dumps; Job creation; Jobs; Litter (Trash); Littering; Occupations; Personal Responsibility in a Desirable Environment (PRIDE); Roadside litter; Solid waste; Work

Subjects: Business enterprises.; Employment--Kentucky; Environmental protection; Environmentalism; McCreary County (Ky.); Pollution; Refuse and refuse disposal.; Waste disposal sites

GPS: McCreary County (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 36.74, -84.48
00:53:22 - PRIDE's impact on McCreary County

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Partial Transcript: Um, well, we've talked a little bit about it but I'll ask you specifically.

Segment Synopsis: The Babbs discuss what they think PRIDE's impact has been on the environment and how it has impacted individual citizens and their attitudes.

Keywords: Attitudes; Change; Cleanup; Environment; Illegal dumping; Illegal dumps; Impact; Litter (Trash); Littering; Personal Responsibility in a Desirable Environment (PRIDE); Solid waste; Tunnel Ridge; Water quality

Subjects: Environmental protection; Environmentalism; McCreary County (Ky.); Pollution.; Refuse and refuse disposal.; Roadside litter; Waste disposal sites

GPS: McCreary County (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 36.74, -84.48
00:56:18 - Changes in Southern and Eastern Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: Um, well now I know you all travel at least a little bit with SWCK [Solid Waste Coordinators of Kentucky] (??) and different things.

Segment Synopsis: The Babbs discuss how they think Southern and Eastern Kentucky has changed due to PRIDE and whether they think it is a permanent change.

Keywords: Attitudes; Change; Cleanup; Environment; Illegal dumping; Illegal dumps; Impact; Litter (Trash); Littering; Permanent change; Personal Responsibility in a Desirable Environment (PRIDE); Roadside litter; Solid waste; Water quality

Subjects: Environmental protection; Environmentalism; McCreary County (Ky.); Pollution.; Refuse and refuse disposal.; Waste disposal sites

GPS: McCreary County (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 36.74, -84.48
00:58:29 - Future work for PRIDE

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Partial Transcript: What, what's left to be done here in McCreary County as far as the environment goes?

Segment Synopsis: The Babbs discuss what work PRIDE has left to due in McCreary County, including a few more dump sites and water treatment.

Keywords: Cleanup; Illegal dumping; Illegal dumps; Litter (Trash); Littering; Personal Responsibility in a Desirable Environment (PRIDE); Roadside litter; Septic; Septic tanks; Sewers; Solid waste; Wastewater treatment

Subjects: Environmental protection; Environmentalism; McCreary County (Ky.); Pollution.; Refuse and refuse disposal.; Waste disposal sites; Water quality.

GPS: McCreary County (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 36.74, -84.48
00:59:45 - Interview conclusion

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Partial Transcript: Well, that pretty much covers all the topics that I was hoping we'd get to today.

Segment Synopsis: Lackey concludes the interview by thanking the Babbs and she and the Babbs briefly return to the Babb's story about the dump site.

Keywords: Illegal dumping; Illegal dumps; Litter (Trash); Littering; Personal Responsibility in a Desirable Environment (PRIDE); Roadside litter; Solid waste

Subjects: Environmental protection; Environmentalism; McCreary County (Ky.); Pollution.; Refuse and refuse disposal.; Waste disposal sites