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The state's longest-running local cleanup returned this spring -- with an additional neighborhood participating

DAVID F. ASHTON - Among the volunteers from the Eastmoreland neighborhood, sharing in taking trash and discards into the Neighborhood Cleanup dropboxes were Holy Family Catholic School 8th grader Aidan, and his dad Derek Blum. With eager anticipation, and with a lot of waste building up, area residents were hoping for the post-pandemic return the of the annual SMILE Bulky Waste Clean-up at Westmoreland Park — the oldest community cleanup in the entire state.

Their wishes were answered on Saturday, May 21st, as Heiberg Garbage's giant dumpsters returned to the south end of Westmoreland Park, in the parking lot, for one day.

"Today, we're having our 41st annual Neighborhood Bulky Waste Clean-up," acknowledged its perennial organizer Kris Heiberg, a neighbor and an executive at family-owned Heiberg Garbage and Recycling.

"It's typically been on the third Saturday in May," she acknowledged. "We haven't had it for two years during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"New this year is that the Sellwood Moreland Improvement League [SMILE] has joined forces with the Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association," she pointed out. "We were not able to get funding this year; so, the two neighborhoods decided that if we both combined efforts, we'd be able to cover the costs."

DAVID F. ASHTON - Olive Brown, from Free Geek, showed THE BEE one of the dead laptop computers that had just been dropped off at the Cleanup. Free Geek is a nonprofit, so this discard was a potentially tax-deductible donation. Old computers are cleaned, fixed, hard drives replaced, and then donated to those needing them. About 25 volunteers were helping out; and all of them received a free souvenir T-shirt, coffee, and donuts, as well as a free sandwich for lunch. "We're happy to have these volunteers while our neighbors bring in loads from their big one-time yard cleanups, and dispose of larger bulkier objects that people can't have picked up at the curb," said Heiberg.

Although her enthusiasm hasn't dimmed for the event, Heiberg said that it's time for others to take on the responsibility. "It would be nice if somebody would step up and take over running this next year; I'm happy to help them organize the cleanup, and show them the ropes. We need some fresh young new people in here, offering this wonderful service to neighbors."

Assistance at the cleanup was provided by Heiberg Garbage and Recycling, SMILE — the Sellwood and Westmoreland neighborhood association, the Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association, "13 Virtues Coffee", Starbucks, and Free Geek.

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