Clean-Up Week is back … times two

Moorhead plans to bring back Clean-Up Week — actually, two weeks — May 3-7 and May 10-14.

Nancy Edmonds Hanson

Moorheaders with cluttered garages and basement got a blast of good news this week: After a year-long hiatus, Clean-Up Week is back!

The curbs of the city had to go uncluttered in 2020 after the COVID-19 epidemic, when the week-long junk festival was canceled to protect city workers and residents. This year it’s back in a big way, says Randy Affield, operations director with the Public Works Department.

The city can look forward to not one, but two weeks: May 3-8 and May 10-14. Each residence will have its unwanted belongings picked up just once, however, on the opposite dates of their biweekly date for recycling. Those on schedule A – that is, those who have both blue and grey bins emptied this week – will have their pick-ups during the first week. If your blue recycling bin is normally emptied on schedule B – for example, the week of March 22 – your turn comes the second.

“We expect a little bit of an influx in what we pick up after missing last year – probably 20 to 25%,” he predicts. In 2019, the Public Works staff plus 20 temporary workers hired for the campaign gathered about 1,600 tons, compared with 500 to 600 tons during the other 51 weeks of the year.

The 2021 plan was designed to eliminate the need for temporary day labor. “All our full-time personnel who want to be vaccinated have received at least one shot, and they’ll have both by Clean-Up Week,” Affield explains. “We can cut out some of the risk factor by only using people who we know are protected.” Street maintenance workers will pitch in during the drive, when regular maintenance will be set postponed.

The rules are similar to other years, with the exception that residents can put out garbage on their day in both grey and blue bins. (No recycling will be done of the second bin during the drive, however.)

“We’re not picking up used tires,” Affield says. “We did pick them up in the past, but no more.” Instead, residents must drop them off at the Public Works building at 700 15th St. N. They must be taken off the rims. “When you get new tires, leave the old ones at the tire store,” he adds, “not stacked behind your garage. All they’re good for is a breeding ground for mosquitoes.”

Electronics – old TVs, computers and the like – won’t be picked up, either. They can be dropped off at the old Department of Motor Vehicles shed at 1300 15th Ave. S. The city collects them there year-round from 4 to 6 p.m. every Tuesday.

Household hazardous waste will not be picked up, either. It must be taken to the Clay County Transfer Station at 2729 Highway 10 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays. Construction waste has not been picked up for several years; residents must take it to the demolition landfill or the west side of the transfer station, 2727 Highway 10.

One last thing: “What you put out for Clean-Up Week has to be compartmentalized,” Affield notes. It has to be in boxes or garbage sacks. Otherwise we’ll leave it on the curb.

“Those ‘curb shoppers’ tend to empty them out to see what looks good, and then they leave it.” Fair warning: The clean-up crew will not take away the mess. “That’s your stuff until we throw it in the truck. If they make a mess, it’s up to you to repackage it.”

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