Outer East Portland neighborhoods support clean-up effort

See how this big clean-up program took on an
even “greener” tinge this year …

Lines of trucks and cars await their turn to dump trash at the annual East Portland Neighborhood Organization Clean-up event.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
From the minute the event opened at 9 a.m. until it closed at 1 p.m., the (former) Albertson’s parking lot at NE 122nd Avenue & Halsey Street was filled with folks dumping trash and debris at the annual East Portland Neighborhood Organization (EPNO) Clean-up on May 10.

These neighbors weren’t littering – they were filling Dumpster after Dumpster with bulky waste, metal, yard debris, Styrofoam, and even appliances.

Earl Brant gives his donation to Ross Monn, Wilkes Community Group Chair and event volunteer. Even though Monn is moving to Washington State, he still pitched in and worked throughout this entire event.

Pitchin’ debris from her truck is Parkrose neighbor Trystan Askelson.

50 dumpsters filled
When we stopped by the event, it was almost closing time – and there was still a line of trucks and cars waiting to unload rubbish.

“We’re close to the successful conclusion of another EPNO Clean-up,” said Bonny McKnight, a volunteer, and Co-Chair of the Russell Neighborhood Association.

“It looks like we’ll use all of the 50 Dumpsters we ordered for the event,” stated McKnight. “About 35 volunteers offered their time today, plus many other folks who helped hand out fliers and help in other ways. Together, we’ve made our community a nicer place in which to live.”

Jim Blatt, from Wilkes Community Group, is one of 35 volunteers who helped at the event.

Promoted greater participation
In addition to publicizing the event in the local media, volunteers took fliers to every church and school within the area area.

“At the least,” McKnight told us, “folks learned that we do this every year and perhaps learned more about what Portland neighborhood associations do for them. We hope more people will choose to participate in their neighborhood organization.”

Instead of sending this computer monitor to the dump, Parkrose Heights volunteer Bill Midkiff sets it aside for dismantling and recycling.

Greening up the event
In addition to the yard debris and rubbish dumpsters, we noticed more recycling bins at the collection site.

“Everything we collect today is going to be recycled in some form,” McKnight said. “For example, bicycles that otherwise would become metal junk are being recycled this year. Instead of dumping computer monitors and televisions, they’ll be dismantled before they’re recycled. We’re doing everything we can to be environmentally conscious.”

Even the donations were recycled, we learned! “The donations that we get from this event are given back to the participating neighborhoods, so they can do more good work in their communities,” said McKnight.

Spencer Wessling, from the Russell Neighborhood, is stacking tires that will be recycled – instead of being dumped into a landfill.

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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