City to pick up unusual items during cleanup

First Posted: 4/3/2009

Mount Airy sanitation crews never know what theyll encounter during special cleanups held each spring, when city residents can dispose of out-of-the-ordinary items for a two-week period.
Their list of memorable objects garnered during recent efforts includes part of an old truck chassis that had been stored behind a local house. The year before, we got a big upright piano, added Delmas Overby, Mount Airy sanitation supervisor and safety coordinator.
Among other broken-down items was the oil furnace crews once hauled away, and Overby also cant forget the diesel engine block that someone put out for collection. I dont know how they got it to the street it was a monster, he recalled.
But regardless of the vast array of unusual throw-aways they find on local streets, city sanitation personnel are always up to the challenge of hauling them off, even if it means bringing in heavy equipment.
Starting Monday, theyll begin doing so again, as part of Mount Airys annual spring cleanup that has been conducted every year since at least the early 1990s, Overby said. The popularity of the effort led to it being expanded to two weeks several years ago.
The 2009 version of the citywide cleanup begins Monday and will continue through Thursday of next week, then will resume from April 13-17. The special service is for residential properties only. City offices will be closed Friday for Easter, but regular residential garbage will be collected then on a normal schedule.
It just gives people an opportunity to dispose of things they otherwise could not get rid of, Overby explained.
The list includes appliances, tires (with or without rims), building materials (generated by homeowners), carpet (any size), automobile parts, large furniture items, bicycles and tricycles, loose leaves (normally picked up 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).
Due to environmental regulations, the city may not collect paint, pesticides, herbicides, solvents or chemicals. However, Surry County holds an annual event at Veterans Memorial Park, typically in the fall, where those substances are taken.
The idea behind the cleanup is that by ridding residential properties of old car parts or appliances, Mount Airys appearance is being enhanced, an improvement that can be gauged both visually and in terms of materials removed.
Overby supplied figures showing that city sanitation crews on average collect 115 tons of refuse in a two-week period. But during the spring cleanups of 2007 and 2008, the amounts for that time frame totaled 206 tons and 178 tons, respectively.
The sanitation supervisor said those figures include only what could be put into garbage trucks and do not reflect the more unusual materials such as tires, rims, appliances or bicycles.
Anyone with questions about the special collection can call the Mount Airy Public Services Department at 786-3580.
Trash Bash Planned
In conjunction with the citys spring cleanup and the N.C. Department of Transportations annual Spring Sweep (April 18-May 2), the Mount Airy Appearance Commission is offering another opportunity to get rid of unwanted treasures.
The group will hold its first-ever Trash Bash on April 17-18, which will allow city residents to sell items from a central location, the municipal parking lot on Franklin Street, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Commission members are urging all homeowners limited to those in the city limits to clean up around their properties, giving special attention to the front yards by clearing away limbs and other debris.
The Trash Bash will allow citizens to transport collected items with resale value to the Franklin Street location to be sold from car trunks or truck beds. In addition, such materials can be donated for sale to the appearance commission, which will use the proceeds for such needs as the hanging baskets adorning the downtown area.
Items left at the end of the two-day event will be transported to the landfill by city crews.
Contact Tom Joyce at [email protected] or at 719-1924.

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