The actions of some users of the recycling site and compost site in Morris may be enough to believe a clean up day in Morris would never work. Or those same actions could be enough to inspire an attempt of a clean up day in Morris.
City manager Blaine Hill said he and other city employees and officials are frustrated with people who put items such as lawn chairs in the reycling site and dump other garbage in the compost site. City employees or employees of Engebretson Sanitary Service must remove that garbage from recyling and compost.
People who misuse the site may be too lazy to dispose of properly, too cheap to put those items in the garbage or pay extra to have Engebretson's pick them up. Or they may be frustrated because they don't have a pickup or trailer to bring items to Engebretson's.
A clean up day where residents could pay a small fee to place items on the curb for pick up could help those people.
It would even benefit those who properly use the compost site and recycling site. Not every city resident has a pickup or trailer to use to haul items to the landfill.
Here's another reason for the city to consider a citywide clean up day. It's typical to see couches, chair, shelves and other items sitting along the curbs each May and June as folks clean their homes or garages or apartments or move. Some of those items are in good enough condition that others drive by and pick them up. But some aren't. And they may sit on a curb for days before they are removed.
We know the proper method of disposal is to haul the items to the landfill and pay for disposal or call Engebretson Sanitary Service and pay for the company to remove them.
But a citywide clean up day would help ensure such items are picked up and disposed of in a timely manner.
Maybe curbside pick up is not the best option. The city could consider having several dumpsters available for one day so that people could dispose of unwanted items in it. The city could partner with a local organization who could collect a certain amount of the pre-paid disposal fee. That organization could help monitor the dumpster and help people remove items for disposal.
Some city staff would likely need to be working that day but we'd also suggest that there are roles for city council members, park board members, tree board members and others to help on such a one day clean up.
While the city of Hancock is smaller than Morris, city officials there have said the two-day citywide cleanup is worth the monetary and time investment because it helps residents and helps keep the city clean. So far, the cleanup has been successful, city clerk Jodi Bedel said.
It's too late to try such a project in Morris but the council should consider such a project for the future.