The 25th annual Clean Sweep Week will begin Monday and end with Tox Away Day on May 30. This week-long organized effort promotes the clean-up of litter and trash by community organizations and volunteers, as well as a countywide collection day for bulky items, tires, appliances and toxic items.
Clean Sweep began 25 years ago when the Greencastle Civic League was first organized.
"The first thing we did was schedule a clean-up day in the spring," said Civic League member Joanne Haymaker. "We contacted schools and organized community service groups to adopt portions of city streets and clean them on a specific day."
The group worked with the city, county and Refuse Handling to provide a spot for people to bring their recyclable items for disposal.
"The first couple were in Robe-Ann Park," said Haymaker "But eventually there were too many people for that site and it was moved to the fairgrounds."
It was after the event began to prove successful that the city decided to begin its own recycling program.
"Every street was covered by all the civic groups," said Gwen Morris, another league member.
Residents are encouraged to gather trash and toxic items, clean up their yards and neighborhoods all week long. They can drop off toxic items at the fairgrounds on May 30.
A variety of items, ranging from aluminum cans and newspapers to old tires and refrigerators, will be accepted at the event. While many items will be accepted free of charge, others will be accepted for a nominal fee.
The Greencastle Civic League will be collecting bulky trash, excluding yard waste. Residents will be asked to pay a $7 per item fee for sofas, chairs, mattresses, TVs, grills (no tanks) and vacuum cleaners. Residents wanting to drop off a pick-up full of trash may do so for a fee based on truck size. The fee will range from $15 to $25 per load.
Volunteer workers from Wal-Mart Transportation will collect televisions and toxic items from senior citizens and disabled people living outside the city limits. The first 50 people to call WCSWD and ask for help will have volunteers collect their items. West Central will filter the calls and work out the logistics and then send the requests on to Wal-Mart.
Senior citizens living inside the city limits who might need help during this week can call the Department of Public Works. While they do not have the equipment to handle heavy items, they will help with other items. There may be a charge for some items.
Toxic items such as paint products (no latex), pesticides and household chemicals will be collected free of charge. Refrigerators, freezers, dehumidifiers and air conditioners will be accepted for a fee. Tires will also be accepted for a fee. No medical waste will be accepted.
On May 30 the Greater Greencastle Chamber of Commerce and Refuse Handling Services, along with Wal-Mart and West Central Solid Waste, are sponsoring a clean-up day in and around downtown Greencastle. All citizens are invited to join the effort to clean and maintain the city's streets and neighborhoods.
This annual event has a host of supporters, but volunteers are always needed. Churches, youth groups, scouts and individuals are all encouraged to participate.
People will gather at Greencastle City Hall at 9 a.m. on Saturday to be assigned to groups to clean up the downtown square and surrounding areas.
City hall is the central location for supplies and registration. Tables will be set up on the east side of First Financial Bank and at Putnam County Comprehensive Services on Tennessee Street. Volunteers will man these sites, and groups can register and pick up supplies at them.
The event runs from 9 a.m. to noon, but anyone who can work even for an hour or two is welcome.
Wal-Mart is donating fruit, cereal bars and bottles of water. The city will supply trash bags, and Hickory Creek at Sunset is donating work gloves. RHS is providing trash pick up as well as co-sponsoring the event. Volunteers should bring brooms and shovels.
For questions about items for Tox-Away/Clean City Day, call the WCSWD office at (800) 211-2750. Office hours at the Department of Public Works are from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. It may be reached at 653-3391.
For more information or to sign up for Community Clean-Up Day, call the chamber at 653-4517 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.