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Time For Spring Cleaning

By Staff | Apr 3, 2008

Emmetsburg City Council will continue discussion on Clean Up Days at the next meeting on Monday, April 14. The topic was brought up March 24 by Mayor John Schad.

When the mayor was asked by an Emmetsburg resident why the city discontinued “Clean Up Days,” he told her he did not know but would bring it to the attention of the council. At one time, the city had picked up appliances, furniture and other larger items from the curb and disposed of them at the landfill.

“The person who asked me does not have anyone who can haul stuff to the dump for her and she would like to see the practice started again,” said Schad.

“I don’t know how many cities do this anymore,” said City Administrator John Bird. He cited too much expense and the fact that hauling large amounts of refuse to the landfill prevents the city from meeting the state mandates on reduction.

He explained, “If I haul something out of my garage and take it to the landfill, the weight is charged against the city.”

Bird further offered, “It’s not just Emmetsburg people who put furniture and appliances out by the curb, it’s people who live in other communities who bring things in. They dump them in other peoples yards.”

When the city does not meet state mandates on reduction at the landfill, it is penalized by the state.

“We pay a premium for everything,” said Bird.

“We cut the number of (garbage) bags down to two to reduce solid waste,” said Councilman Pat Degen.

“The most significant way to reduce waste is to get commercial businesses to recycle,” said Bird.

Councilman Steve Finer pointed out his business’s dumpster is half full on Friday and by Monday morning it is too full to close the lid.

Councilman Brian Campbell added, “Recycling appliances is pretty tricky. There is more to it than just crushing an old refrigerator.”

“Another reason we discontinued it (Clean Up Days) is because people weren’t using it,” added Degen.

Mayor Schad suggested an alternative to having the city pick up extra trash for Clean Up Days. He suggested that people could bring items to a central location for a fee of $5; then others could pay $5 to sort through the junk.

“There would probably be very little left,” said Schad.

Council representative Pam Smith wants to see what alternatives there are.

Mayor Schad suggested that Clean Up Days be placed on the agenda for the next council meeting.