Powellhurst-Gilbert neighbors rid their area of 25.5 tons of junk

How does one keep one’s neighborhood from looking trashed? See what these volunteers did – and how much money they raised for their association, in the process…

Neighbor John Bassett recycles his metal and gets rid of his junk – and also spends a few minutes helping Powellhurst/Gilbert Neighborhood Association Vice-Chair Elaine Medcalf organize a Dumpster.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Unlike almost any other grassroots local project, “neighborhood clean-ups” are specifically to help beautify sections of East Portland.

The Powellhurst/Gilbert and Pleasant Valley Fall Clean-Up was one such event.

“We do this to help our neighbors,” said its organizer, Powellhurst/Gilbert Neighborhood Association Vice-Chair Elaine Medcalf, as she closed the doors on a filled-to-the-brim metal recycling dumpster. “It also helps keep debris, trash, and unwanted appliances from being dumped off.”

Medcalf said there were seven sites open across Powellhurst/Gilbert, which is outer East Portland’s geographically-largest neighborhood. “One of our sites is on the border of the Pleasant Valley Neighborhood; they’re participating in the clean-up,” she noted.

At one of the sites there was a bulky waste Dumpster and a Dumpster for metals; at two sites there were a bulky waste Dumpster and a yard debris Dumpster; and at three sites there was a bulky waste Dumpster only.

“It’s great being able to get the trash out of the neighborhood,” neighbor John Bassett told us. “Especially out of my yard!”

Here’s some of the 19.7 tons of bulky waste that won’t be dumped in a park or along a road.

The results? Medcalf said the clean-up netted:

  • Bulky Waste: 19.7 tons
  • Yard Debris: 2.54 tons
  • Metals: 4.3 tons
  • Donations: $1,215.

Collection services were provided by Flannery’s Drop Box Service and Scott’s Metal Recycling. Tipping fees were provided by a grant from the City of Portland Office of Sustainable Development, and Metro.

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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