Annual spring cleaning yields 524,000 pounds of trash
It was a monumental effort, the city said in a recent news release.
The 2021 Rifle Spring Clean-up ended up yielding 524,000 pounds of trash. Workers hauled away 78 refrigerators, freezers and air conditioners which the City paid $15 each to dump.
In total, workers made 191 trips to the landfill and 122 trips to the scrapyard with 160,710 pounds of scrap metal. The clean-up ran through the month of April.
“Every year, Rifle residents look forward to spring. Sure, we like putting away the snow shovels, leaving the house without multiple layers, and smelling the blooming flowers, but the big event each spring is Spring Clean Up,” the news release stated.
Due to the pandemic, there was no Spring Clean Up in 2020. Stay at home orders provided ample time to notice everything wrong with your abode, the release stated. Home improvement projects ranging from simple painting to complete remodels were the norm.
There was finally time to clear out the junk. And it accumulated. A lot.
“Ordinarily, Department of Corrections inmates assisted the City with the annual project. Due to COVID restrictions, that wasn’t allowed this year and it didn’t appear the event would be possible. Enter City staff,” the release stated. “Employee duties were shuffled to allow people from different departments to spend their regular workday picking up the trash and hauling it away.”
According to Community Service Officer Alan Lambert who coordinated the effort, “It was actually a great team-building activity for us. I was able to work alongside people I had never even met. And the sheer amount of work was incredible. These guys were wiped out every Friday.”
All this work was accomplished in a nine-day period using 21 city employees from five departments and two drivers from a private contractor.
The city also gives special thanks to the Garfield County Commissioners who agreed to pay ½ the cost of each load taken to the West Garfield County Landfill.
“Most of all a thank you to the Rifle residents who helped the cleanup crews by following the rules. This makes it so much easier on the personnel on the ground loading the trucks,” the release states.
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Officer Haley Walker sat beside her stepmother in a windowless interrogation room just before starting the overnight shift on Thursday evening.