The Annual Spring Cleanup is underway in Grand Junction. I love this program. At the same time, though, I have a number of concerns. Please humor me while I rant.

As a homeowner, the Annual Spring Cleanup is very valuable to me. Like many people, I've collected a ton of trash over the winter and am anxious to get rid of it. Most will not fit in my trash container. Add to that I no longer own a truck, and as a result, can't haul the material to the landfill on my own.

Enter the Annual Spring Cleanup. It works like a charm. As of two days ago, Grand Junction city residents can place trash in the street in front of their homes. Before long city crews will be by to collect the trash. With the exception of a few wrinkles, it works like a charm.

In reality, the aforementioned wrinkles have nothing to do with the city's performance. Rather, it has to do with the way we, the residents, participate. The photo at the top of this post is an example of how NOT to set your trash in the street. It seems many do not follow the simple guidelines. A few examples would be:

  • Placing your trash in front of YOUR house, not your neighbors
  • Some things, electronics, for example, are not included in the pickup - they are to be recycled
  • Trash is often left loose (shredded papers, for example) rather than being bagged, and end up scattered all over the neighborhood
  • Some enjoying rummaging through the trash looking for treasure, and make a mess in the process

I posted about this a couple of years ago, and some commented I was being "negative." In my mind, it's just the opposite. The program is amazing, but it has to be executed correctly on our end. Many set their trash out far too early. Others place items in the trash knowing good and well they won't be collected (electronics, for example).

A few years ago someone in my neighborhood placed a television in the trash. This item was not eligible to be picked up, and was left behind. It sat there for weeks. Finally, a neighbor placed a note on our cluster mailbox asking the responsible party to pick up their trash. I created a survey asking how long it would take before the responsible party picked it up and recycled it. Your votes came in at 20.59% expecting it to take "two weeks to a month." After a couple of weeks, it was finally taken care of.

Waylon Jordan

On a personal note, it is heartbreaking to see the things people will throw away. With my rapidly increasing age, I've begun to refer to our population as the "All-You-Can-Eat Buffet Society." We're too quick to waste. An example would be an old school desk I found in a pile a few blocks from my house. To make my point, I took a couple of days, $10.25 in materials, and a little elbow grease, and refurbished the desk. I had fun working with my dad on the project, and when finished, gave it to a friend's 7-year-old daughter. Check out the before and after photos.

Waylon Jordan
Waylon Jordan

I love the Annual Spring Cleanup program. It works like a charm 98% of the time. I hope you use it. Let's participate in the program per its design, and make 2019's cleanup a great experience.