Cleanup sees record turnout

Volunteers collected more than 28,000 pounds of trash over the first two days of the Mountain View Cleanup.

Scott Kohlhaas, a veteran cleanup organizer, flipped through a stack of dump receipts Monday and said blue skies Saturday brought out record crowds.

“It was as busy Saturday as we’ve ever seen it,” he said.

The weeklong cleanup aims to bring in about 200 tons of trash, Kohlhaas said. Based out of an empty lot on Richmond Avenue adjacent to the old Brewster’s building, Kohlhaas said cleanup crews also conduct house calls and a thorough sweep of the neighborhood.

The street cleanup is by far the most productive, he said.

While the lot usually gathers about 80 tons of trash and recyclables over the course of the 6-day event, Kohlhaas said the single street sweep and house calls bring in 110 to 120 tons. He said this is the last year the cleanup will use the lot — Cook Inlet Housing Authority plans to develop housing there later this summer. The cleanup might find a new home base or change its format altogether, but Kohlhaas said the street push would most likely continue.

“One way or another, we don’t wanna lose that,” Kohlhaas said.

20140505-160748.jpgBy Monday afternoon, the weekend rush had passed. Volunteers helped a slow but steady stream of vehicles unload trash into six 40-yard metal dumpsters. A cluster of broken TVs sat in the dirt, and a pungent scent wafted across the lot from a group of stained refrigerators in the corner. Cement, metal, car batteries, old tires — Kohlhaas said they take it all.

In fact, he said the cleanup recycled between 25 and 50 percent of everything it brings in every year. Dumping is free for everything except refrigerators and electronics, which are more expensive to safely throw away, Kohlhaas said.

  • Refrigerators – $25
  • Small TVs/electronics – $5
  • Medium TVs/electronics – $10
  • Large TVs – $15-25

He said residents hoping to participate in the street sweep should have their refuse out by the curb by Tuesday night.

The whole effort would not be possible without volunteer help, Kohlhaas said. While around 11 people have volunteered daily since the cleanup began, he said more help is always needed.

People can sign up in person at the Brewster’s lot between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m., he said. The cleanup ends May 9.



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