April 26, 2012 | Vol.42 No. 17

Clean-up effort now three-pronged

The annual community clean-up offers residents three ways to help spruce up their community.

It all starts Saturday, May 5, with a Cinco de Mayo celebration dubbed “Cleano de Mayo.” Besides the traditional, town clean-up, the second annual Chilkat River cleanup and the first Pooper Trooper cleanup also are on May 5.

Cleano de Mayo, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Haines bank, offers hot dogs and tacos as well as free bags for the town cleanup, where residents are encouraged to help patrol local streets for litter.

“Community Waste Solutions has decided to charge a dollar per bag disposal fee, but what we’re doing is collecting that up front,” said Ned Rozbicki, president of the Haines Chamber of Commerce. “It looks like there should be plenty of bags for everyone who wants them, because numerous businesses have donated a bunch of bags.”

The town cleanup runs May 5-14, and bags can be turned in at Community Waste Solutions from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day.

Last year’s effort tallied 249 bags, with Takshanuk Watershed Council, Friends of the Haines Borough Public Library, and Chilkat Valley Community Foundation as the top three groups. Nonprofit organizations earn $3 per filled bag, and the top individuals receive dump passes.

Jamie Knudsen, chamber office manager, said the Haines Borough would help collect bags within city limits.

“The borough is going to go around and pick them up, so if people want to just leave their trash on the side of the road by a stop sign, they can leave it and they’ll be picked up,” she said.

The 2011 cleanup used blue and yellow bags to separate recyclables, but the event is going back to just yellow bags this year, Knudsen said.

“Community Waste Solutions is going to separate everything, so it’s not quite so confusing for the community,” she said.

The Chilkat River Cleanup starts 9 a.m. at the Takshanuk Watershed Council office, in the parking lot across from the bank.

Brad Ryan, executive director, last year reported the 22 volunteers at the inaugural event collected 10 derelict gillnets, 487 aluminum cans, 10 pounds of plastic, 60 pounds of glass, 400 pounds of various metals and television sets, and 23 bags of trash.

“A lot of people that don’t get to float the river got to for free, picked up some trash and had a pretty good time,” he said. “As well, the people on the road get buckets of trash.”

Ryan said he is expecting a bigger haul next month.

“I’ve already seen a couch and some beds and probably 200 beer bottles in piles,” he said.

Chilkoot Indian Association is sponsoring the cleanup, Chilkat Guides is providing transportation, and Mountain Market is donating lunch. Volunteer sign-up sheets are available at Howsers, Mountain Market and Olerud’s.

“You don’t have to sign up; we were just hoping to get some estimate, but we don’t need it,” Ryan said. “Chilkat Guides has volunteered at least three rafts, and more if we need them, and a bus, so you can get a ride.”

Residents are encouraged to bring their own canoe, raft or truck to help with the cleanup. Volunteers should wear boots, gloves and old clothing. Participants also will walk along the road to collect trash.

“I’ve identified two places that must have a couple of truckloads of trash already, so I won’t be floating the river, I’ll be spearheading that part of it,” Ryan said.

The event should wrap up around 3 p.m., he said.

The Haines Animal Rescue Kennel is coordinating the Pooper Trooper Community Cleanup on May 5.

“Most people like the friendly lab sitting in front of the library; it gives Haines that quirky, small-town feel,” said Steve Vick, HARK executive director. “But people don’t like the poop that dogs leave behind.”

He said “Pooper Trooper” volunteers will target six areas in town frequented by dogs and should bring a shovel, work gloves and a five-gallon bucket for the cleanup. HARK will supply garbage bags.

The event starts 1 p.m. at HARK’s Small Tracts Road location and is expected to run about two hours.

“We will break into groups and start scooping,” Vick said. “If you would like to participate but can’t make it on the fifth, just give us a call (at 766-3334) and we’ll let you know what areas of town still need scooping.”