Before you' fall back' a chance to clear the clutter
Twice a year on the first Saturday morning of November and May, cars, pick-up trucks and SUVs form a steady, snaking line from the SW Christian Center on SW Dosch Road. For four hours they move through the parking lot at a rate of 100 or more per hour. Not for drive-by religious services but for the task of getting rid of stuff.
It's the semiannual Clean Up brought to you by Southwest Neighborhoods,Inc. and SW Community Recycling. The 2018 Fall Clean Up is happening Saturday, November 3 between 9AM and 1PM. The location is just north of the intersection of Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway and SW 30th. It beats a trip to the dumps and costs less.
We're talking about literally tons of stuff gotten rid of. The 2018 Spring Clean Up in May saw 590 vehicles in four hours dump off 23 tons of
"bulky waste" - those things you can't cram into your garbage cans (think old furniture), useless wood and mattresses. Lots of mattresses.
Then there's the eight tons of scrap metal - lots of washers and dryers. And dead small batteries - one ton of those. The Spring 2018 effort also took in two big (40-yard) dumpsters of styrofoam (NO peanuts please). SW oenophiles (wine lovers) dropped off 185 pounds of corks.
For the first time ever, the Fall Clean Up will be accepting Small Electronics, a category that includes that non-flat-screen television that still work but which you just can't give away. Also accepted - computers, monitors, personal printers and photocopiers and VCRs.
The Spring Clean Up in May set a record with 590 vehicles moving through the parking lot in four hours. Sara Freeman at SWNI, who coordinates the semiannual Clean Up, explains there's a line of cars waiting when the Clean Up begins at 9AM, "A lot of people come early so there is a big rush when we open, but there always seems to be a closing rush too. It's only a four-hour event though, so don't wait too long to come – we close promptly at 1 pm. And when the two bins we have for Styrofoam are full, that's all the Styrofoam we can accept."
Taking advantage of the Clean Up isn't free but it's a pretty good deal. You'll be charged five dollars per trip for the small stuff
like batteries, styrofoam, corks and printer cartridges. But if you want to get rid of that old mattress, discarded rain gutters or computer components
it will cost you twenty dollars per trip.
The people greeting you as you arrive and help you through the process as safely and quickly as possible are all volunteers.
Freeman explains that the Fall and Spring Clean Up began back in the 80"s when the state banned backyard burning of yard debris.
Alert SW neighbors noticed that a lot of people were dumping not only yard debris but old toilets and used appliances in the ravine at Woods Memorial Park.
According to Freeman "SWNI then worked with Multnomah residents to start the first yard debris collection event. After that, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability worked to get funding to pay for the disposal bins, while Metro offered waivers to pay the tipping fees necessary to properly dispose of the collected material. Now that Metro provides curbside pick-up, the items we accept at our Clean Up has changed."
The largest item ever accepted: an old go-cart. The smallest: nails, which go into the scrap metal dumpsters.
DO NOT try to get rid of hazardous waste or yard debris (that includes the leaves that are falling all around us), motor oil, paint, fertilizers, kitchen garbage, commercial waste or stumps and rocks. And if you think you can drop off demolition or remodeling debris like drywall and sheetrock - forget about it.