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CHILDREN VOLUNTEERED at the Elgin “Clean to Green” day at the tire station. From left, Kevin Hendrickson, 10, Keifer Ivins, 10, and Dawson Larman, 9, showed a happy and generous volunteer spirit as they helped to load old tires onto a horse trailer. TRISH YERGES photo
ELGIN — The city’s first annual “Clean to Green” operation was in full swing last Saturday at the Stampede grounds, and it was a big hit with residents.
By noon more than 142 vehicles had driven through the collection site, said volunteer Twila Ivins. “Some people are coming through three times (or more) with their donations.”
Resident Pat McDonald was one of those repeat donors.
“This is my fourth trip today,” he said. “It’s a great idea.”
Six stations handling specific product donations were set up and vehicles were directed by traffic control volunteers to each station in an orderly way. At the first station, tires were collected.
“We’ve collected five horse trailers full of tires,” said the tire chairwoman, Cindy Chandler. “That’s over 800 tires just this morning.”
Four tires per household were accepted at no charge, but anything in excess of that cost $1 per tire. By noon, tire station volunteer Judy Doud said they had collected $782 in excess tire fees.
One resident brought a large load of tires on his truck.
“This is a great thing for cleaning up tires in this area,” said Glen Cole. “I’m donating 26 tires for the clean-up effort.”
Volunteer Kathy Bonney said one resident admitted storing old tires since 1998 and the “Green to Clean” day finally convinced him to dispose of them.
Adult volunteers and some children, including Keifer Ivins, 10, Dawson Larman, 9, and Kevin Hendrickson, 10, helped unload tires off vehicles and onto horse trailers to be delivered to Les Schwab in La Grande.
“We’d like to thank Les Schwab for working with us on this,” said Chandler. “We’d also like to thank the Lions for helping out with the man power.
Members of the Elgin Lions club manned the oil station and collected over 100 gallons of used oil in the morning alone. Lion Daryl Hawes said it would be recycled to run the “Blue Goose” kids train at the upcoming Elgin Riverfest on June 16.
The garbage station was hugely popular as people brought in bags and bags of garbage and an unusual number of old mattresses for disposal.
“I’ve brought mattresses and garbage,” said resident Eddy Arnold. “This is nice that people on budgets can do this free just once.”
Kathy Bonney and Debi Morton from the Community Bank were collecting cash donations from drivers leaving the site.
“We need the donations because we’re charged $800 for each Dumpster we use,” she said. “By noon we collected about $600 in cash.”
It will take several days for station chairpersons to compute quantities, costs and net profits, if any, for their specific product donations, but they were optimistic as they watched truck after truck enter the collection site.