Brooklyn brought in the dumpsters and helped Brooklyn residents clean up homes and property in May

RITA A. LEONARD - After the rain stopped and the sun came out, the annual Brooklyn Cleanup drew a crowd, and was a success. Two large dumpsters were filled to the top and hauled off with discards from the neighborhood.A sure sign of spring is the proliferation of "free" curbside discards, and neighborhood cleanup days. The Brooklyn Action Corps neighborhood association (BAC) held their annual "Neighborhood Cleanup & Haul-Away" Saturday, May 14, from 9 to 2. It took place, assisted by volunteers, at the corner of S.E. 16th Avenue and Center Street. BAC board member Marie Phillippi remarked to THE BEE, "At 9 a.m. it was pouring rain, and no one showed up, but when at 10 the sun came out, neighbors began to arrive."

Phillippi had earlier secured a $1,000 grant from Metro to pay Heiberg Garbage to haul away the two huge dumpsters at the site. A tent nearby offered free coffee and pastries for volunteers, donated by Paul Zavitkovsky and John Karabaic of "Breakfast on the Bridges." Nearby, a collection of blue bags were piled for Ben Tarne, chairman of the recyclable can and bottle drive that helps support the Brooklyn Park Summer Program for Kids.

In addition to carloads of mixed waste, couches, flowerpots, and paint, a list of acceptable and unacceptable items was posted.. Clean and wearable clothes were donated to the Transition Project Shelter in Sellwood. Small gently-used electronics were accepted for donation to Free Geek. Visitors were encouraged to save saleable items for the Friends of Brooklyn Park Rummage Sale, scheduled for June 17-18 at "Brooklyn Center Suites", 3717-3719 S.E. Milwaukie Avenue, the proceeds of which will also help support the Summer Park Program.

In a related adventure, this writer — after trying to sell or give away an old upright piano — decided to gut out the instrument and use it for firewood. (Somebody, somewhere, will wince at the piano's sad fate, alas.) After removing all burnable parts, the heavy metal soundboard attached to the empty wooden shell were all that was left. It did find a taker, likely for metal salvage. Spring cleaning occurs in many ways and, by making our "extras" available to those who want them, we extend their value. When the May 14 Brooklyn Cleanup was over, volunteers found they had accumulated two full oversize dumpsters of recyclables, and had received a nice sum from those dumping, to assist with the needs of the nonprofit Brooklyn Action Corps — while helping neighbors get rid of a host of unwanted things.

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