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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
10:34 AM Wed, Sept. 19th

Sans citywide cleanup, neighborhoods step up

PRESCOTT – No citywide fall cleanup took place this year, but a number of neighborhoods have found a way to rid their areas of unwanted junk and brush anyway.

City officials report that they will conduct about 10 cleanups in individual neighborhoods around Prescott this year. Although the neighborhood efforts don't come with the convenience of curbside pickups, they do allow residents to discard unwanted items for free.

During financial discussions this year, the Prescott City Council decided to include only one citywide cleanup in the 2000/2001 budget. It will take place in the spring.

That left the community with no fall cleanup – an activity that has been a long tradition in Prescott. For more than 10 years, the City of Prescott conducted curbside collections twice a year, in the fall and the spring.

The free service allowed city garbage customers to simply put out at their curbs any items that they wanted to discard. City sanitation crews would then make separate rounds to pick up the items.

But council members decided this year that the service had become too expensive. In addition, the extra rounds were overwhelming the city's trash-collection crews. So, the council decided to cut the cleanups to just the spring event.

Some residents balked at that, however, maintaining that they had come to depend on the biannual service.

City officials then offered to conduct area cleanups by placing large roll-off dumpsters in neighborhoods for several days at time. That way, residents could bring their discards to the dumpsters and dispose of them. Neighborhoods just needed to make a request to the city, find a place for dumpsters, and handle the publicity for the cleanups.

Neighborhood Services Director Laurie Hadley said she has heard from about 10 neighborhoods since the city made the offer of individual cleanups. Some of the cleanups have already occurred, and others are in the works.

The smaller cleanups are considerably less expensive than the $66,000 the city paid for its spring cleanup. And the neighborhood efforts take less employee time.

"They aren't nearly as time-consuming or demanding on staff," Hadley said. "But they still take a lot of time."

On average, the city is collecting about 3 tons of trash at each of its neighborhood cleanups.