Cleanup Day successful

May 23, 2012 02:35 pm

Community removes debris from La Grande, Island City

Though the weather was cold and wet, 300 volunteers responded to make May 5 another successful La Grande and Island City Neighborhood Cleanup Day.

Darin Larvik of City Garbage reported an increase in truck and trailer loads of yard debris, exceeding the 2011 event. It was the largest collection of hazardous waste since the facility opened.

Thanks to Miller’s for accepting containers of used paint and to Wurdinger Recycling for providing a Dumpster. The metal and donations at the drop-off sites provide the modest revenue to help meet costs of the cleanup effort.   

Les Schwab willingly disposed of nearly 800 used tires. Though down from the 1,006 in the previous year, it is a good sign that yards are becoming free of those pesky tires. Did you know it costs over $2 to dispose of each tire? That’s a significant contribution to our community.  

Three convenient site Dumpsters were filled with trash, two with metals, and one with recyclable wood.

The EOU women’s basketball team members with Coach Weissenfluh chucked trash into the Dumpsters and the EOU cheer squad raked leaves and dug weeds at Birnie Park. Awesome young women. 

University dorm students led by Louis Denik and Rocky Gotharr collected trash from the hillside, and student officers Demetria Tsiatsos, Addie O’Neal and Genesis Meaderds helped with cleanup planning and coordination at Eastern.  Thanks, students.

We are aware of at least six families who accepted the challenge to clean neighbor yards, and the number of group and organization projects increased to 15 in 2012.

The Lions in Island City staffed the Dumpster, and families from the LDS Third Ward cleaned their churchyard and trimmed shrubs of neighbors.

The La Grande Noon Rotary members and friends removed nearly 500 pounds of yard debris from Max Square, and the Soroptimists finished the cleanup of the flowerbeds near Riverside Park.

Six Riverbend Youth filled about 35 sacks of litter from the roadside of Highway 30 from the I-84 to the east entrance of La Grande, and Scouts from Troop 586 picked up trash along Spruce and adjacent streets.

Catholic church youth and leaders collected litter on 16th Street, the underpass and Gekeler Lane to Highway 30.  

Thanks to the folks at the CHD, Cove Avenue is cleaner and the staff from La Grande Forestry and Range Lab Research Facility helped beautify Gekeler and 12th.   

Families from the La Grande LDS Second Ward removed two trailer loads of yard debris and trimmed bushes at Sunnyhill and Birnie Parks. 

The use of trucks and trailers was a generous donation by residents.

Lonnie Myers again provided a front-end loader for the Island City site, and City of La Grande a loader for the Ash site.

It was reassuring to see La Grande Mayor Dan Pokorney and Island City Mayor Dale DeLong, with council members, show leadership in removing unsightly trash.   

A special thanks to ODOT and Oregon SOLV for the litter bags, and Safeway and Bi-Mart for discounts on donuts and gloves.

La Grande Mainstreet is a chief sponsor and Board Chairman Matt Scarfo was awesome in loading tires.

Alana Garner, Mainstreet coordinator, was diligent with intial planning and organized the downtown alley cleanup. 

The talents of Carolyn Gibson with The Observer were utilized for promotions, and the local radio stations additionally provided publicity.  

It is always risky to recognize contributors because some will be overlooked, but know that your efforts in removing trash and collecting litter will not go unnoticed.  

Thanks for helping to make our neighborhoods more welcoming. Continue the cleanup momentum.


Doyle Slater is a La Grande resident. He submitted this Community Comment on behalf of the 25 members of the La Grande and Island City Neighborhood Cleanup Planning Committee.