Provo citizens clean up for fall

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Hours for dumping at each site are posted clearly at each Provo cleanup site. (Gianluca Cuestas)

Provo City is giving residents the opportunity to dispose of large trash items with the help of its cleanup program.

The program runs in the spring and fall. This year’s fall cleanup began on Monday, Sept. 26 and will continue until Nov. 5. Fall cleanup is an opportunity to dispose of large trash that cannot be disposed of with regular waste pickup. Examples include television sets or large branches from tree trimmings.

Division director for public services Greg Beckstrom said keeping the community clean is the primary objective of the program.

Beckstrom said he has personally participated in spring or fall cleanup many times, and this cleanup is not just a way of keeping the community clean, but is also a way for people to declutter their homes by getting rid of large, old and bulky junk.

The cleanup helps people “create more space for what’s important to them,” Beckstrom said.

Sanitation manager Bryce Rolph said the free dumping service is a better economical choice for the community. He said other communities take a more hands-off approach and send out employees to pick up the large items that can’t be easily disposed of, such as TVs. However, sending government employees to every single home is expensive.

“Everybody generates garbage,” Rolph said. “That’s the reason we do it this way,” referring to a location in the community where citizens can dump their large trash items.

Rolph estimated the government saves more than $100,000 with just the effort it takes for individuals to bring their large trash items to one of six dump sites around Provo over the next five weeks.

Not only does the government spend less money with cleanup, individual citizens save money as well. Depending on the item or items in need of dumping, it costs between $2-to-$12 to dump large items at the landfill for individuals.

Participating in the Provo fall cleanup can help citizens become more environmentally responsible. Rolph said all green waste is taken to Provo’s green waste facility to be made into compost. He said there is also a scrap bin at each dump site for metal, which goes to Western Metals Recycling.

Provo City also has a contract with METech Recycling to recycle all of the electronics. METech Recycling manager Robert Stephenson said METech collected 60,000 pounds of electronics for recycling earlier this year.

“Our mission is to make sure as little as possible goes to the landfill,” Stephenson said.

To make it easier for these companies to pick up all of the waste, there is a different dumpster for green waste, electronics, metal and other trash available at fall cleanup dumping sites, Lonnie Hawkins, who oversees the dumping, is present at each site to ensure people separate waste properly.

Two men work together to dump a large item at the Provo fall cleanup. (Gianluca Cuestas)

Hawkins has managed the cleanup on site for thirteen years and said the spring and fall cleanups are excellent services offered by Provo City. However, he regrets most people don’t know about the cleanup.

“There’s a lot of people I’ve found out over the years that have no idea that we do this,” Hawkins said.

While some people unaware of this service, people like Provo resident Robert Spencer have taken advantage of it for several years.

“It’s fantastic,” Spencer said. “Because it’s easy to get rid of junk that’s hard to get rid of.”

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