First Posted: 4/14/2009
Many city residents have been getting rid of unwanted items normally not collected by sanitation crews through a special spring cleanup that ends Friday.
Based on the volume of materials collected by the Mount Airy Public Services Department so far, old tires and other items are finding their way to local curbsides at a higher rate compared to 2008.
Delmas Overby, city sanitation supervisor and safety coordinator, reported Monday that crews had picked up 175 automobile tires so far during the annual two-week campaign, which began April 6. The tire total for both weeks last year was 256.
Overall volume also is experiencing a higher rate compared to 2008, according to Overby. During the first week of the campaign this year, items that workers were able to load onto garbage trucks totaled 126 tons. For both weeks of the cleanup last year, that figure was 174 tons.
The special spring cleanup, which has been ongoing since the early 1990s, allows citizens to dispose of items including appliances; tires, with or without rims; building materials generated by homeowners; carpet; automobile parts; large furniture items; and bicycles and tricycles.
Sanitation workers will only pick up such items during the special cleanup, which also represents an attempt to beautify Mount Airy.
In the past theyve had to rely on heavy equipment to remove larger refuse, such as engine blocks and even an upright piano someone discarded. The most unusual item reported so far this year is a 275-gallon fuel-oil tank, Overby said.
Crews also are picking up loose leaves (normally collected only from Oct. 1-Dec. 31); limbs exceeding 3 inches in diameter (which must be separated from smaller-diameter brush); and old gas grills (without gas cylinders).
The city is restricted from collecting paint, pesticides, herbicides, solvents or chemicals. Surry County personnel hold an annual event at Veterans Memorial Park, typically in the fall, where those substances are taken.