Changes needed to streamline event, curb abuses
You may have wondered what was happening with Town Cleanup Day. It’s been traditionally held the Saturday before Memorial Day, which is right around the corner. This year, however, the Town’s Cleanup Day head honcho, Michael Grossblatt has pushed it back to June 5, and recently he got approval from Town Council to institute a few changes.
Grossblatt indicated the date was pushed back in large part because of some heavy snow coverage still hanging on in the higher-elevation parts of town. That, however, isn’t all of it.
Each year, the event has grown exponentially, to a point where Grossblatt said it’s no longer manageable in its current form. While Cleanup Day has been good in the sense that the town’s volunteer army now removes far more trash than it did several years ago, some families and businesses have been taking advantage of the event, using Cleanup Day as part of their personal “spring cleaning” process.
Grossblatt said in his staff report that construction debris and other bulky items from garages were plunked on the streets for volunteers to haul away, instead of disposed of properly under normal circumstances. Instead of raking up a handful of trash bags of pine needles, spring landscaping projects are timed around the event, generating hundreds of trash bags that volunteers are expected to pick up.
“This wasn’t what Town Cleanup Day was originally intended to accomplish,” Grossblatt said. He added that last year’s bag amount went up 30 percent to roughly 12,000 bags. Grossblatt said that using the “bag a person” yardstick means ideally the town should be collecting roughly 8,000 bags, which is what he indicated the system is designed to handle.
The extended time this year has allowed him to revise the operation and put more focus on “community cleanup efforts” rather than “personal property” cleanup. With a $10,000 budget, partly paid for by grants, resources have been getting stretched thinner and thinner.
Since this is an election year, however, look for a new feature that may be added. “We are going to try and get political candidates to sponsor zones this year and give them one minute at the microphone during the raffle,” Grossblatt suggested.
FREE orange trash bags will be available starting on Friday, May 21 (maximum five) from the Town Offices and the Mammoth Lakes California Welcome Center. For private property cleanup, please note that one of the changes this year is that only Town-supplied orange bags will be collected free of charge by Mammoth Disposal from June 8-10, by appointment only.
According to Grossblatt, there will be no collection of loose or bulky items (refrigerators, appliances, mattresses etc.) from private properties on Saturday, June 5. The Mammoth Disposal Transfer Station will, however, receive such items free of charge on that date.