By C.J. Barbre
OK, there is no glamour in dealing with trash. But failing to deal with it devalues every resident's quality of life.
The 2004-2005 Grand Jury Report stated ”Rural Tulare County is inundated with trash in and around its unincorporated areas. The problem is not being addressed by the agencies involved. Rural trash collection is very expensive for the citizens of those unincorporated areas.“
The annual spring cleanup week in April when disposal fees are halved. Most of the incorporated cities joined in, many allowing their residents to cleanup at no cost by providing free dumpsters.
In June the board agreed to significantly increase fines for properties in violation of county blight ordinances. RMA hired a second code compliance officer to help with the 1,600 backlog of cases of code violations. They also hired a vehicle abatement officer.
At the July 12 Board of Supervisors meeting a new resolution was passed for a second regularly scheduled ”Cleanup Week“ for the third full week of every October.
Make a Difference Day
This coincides with ”Make a Difference Day,“ sponsored in Tulare County by C-SET (Community Services & Employment Training, Inc.) Make A Difference Day began with a simple idea: Put your own cares on hold for one day to care for someone else. It's not necessarily about cleanup, but can be. Nationally it is sponsored by USA Today.
C-SET's Lily Riveria said they coordinated the effort through Patty Ackley, recycling coordinator at RMA, receiving grants from trash haulers and the Board of Supervisors' Good Works Fund. A press release C-SET sent out back in June requested Make a Difference Day Partners.
”Your $2,500 donation will be used to purchase materials, tools, supplies and snacks for groups that apply for a grant,“ it stated, ”low-cost solutions to community challenges.“
The money was parceled out in grants of $100 for materials, tools and supplies to groups who selected, planned and organized cleanup or beautification projects of their own. It does manage to make cleaning up the county a bit glamorous.
C-SET Make a Difference Day, Oct. 22, detailed project list:
Allensworth: The Allensworth Town Council will be hosting a Yard Beautification project and free trash dumping for Allensworth residents
Alpaugh: A clothing giveaway is being organized for anyone in need of clothing in the community.
Cutler-Orosi: Community-wide paint out and painting arbor/benches at the park.
Earlimart: Graffiti paint out on target areas including alleyways between Armstrong and Washington streets and the community clean up on Avenue 56.
Exeter: A clothing drive will be held as a kickoff to Toys for Tots Christmas donations in partnership with Kiwanis and C-SET.
Goshen: The Goshen Planning Committee will conduct a house beautification project for senior citizens. Junior Leadership youth will choose 5-7 senior citizen homes and assist them with yard work, painting, trash removal and landscaping.
A free trash dumping community cleanup will also be taking place for Goshen residents and any graffiti in the community will be removed by Jr. Leadership and RJP Youth.
Ivanhoe: Free trash dumping for Ivanhoe residents and community beautification project on the corner of Avenue 328 and Road 160.
Lindsay: A tree planting and cleanup project at the high school organized by Dr. Chiurazzi and C-SET.
Linnell Camp: Jr. Leadership will paint trash bins, curbs and gutters, plant flowers, collect recyclables and clean the community center.
Pixley: In collaboration with the Pixley Town Council, Tule Trash, TCSO, the Chamber of Commerce, First 5, RJP, Women's Club, CDF and the Jr. Leadership youth will be doing a graffiti paint out and trash removal from streets in town.
Plainview:A free trash dumping/community cleanup will be taking place, organized by Waste Management and C-SET.
Poplar: A free trash dumping/community cleanup will be taking place, organized by WM and C-SET
Porterville: Beautification project/cleanup at Government Plaza and cleanup/pickup trash on Prospect Street in collaboration with C-SET and Probation Department.
Teviston: Community cleanup day by removing weeds by by the salk-over bridge side road, plant flowers, trees and shrubs at the community center. Remove weeds in the backfield of the Day Care Center.
Tipton: The Tipton Town council will be hosting a free trash dumping/community cleanup and organizing a community awareness event so that residents learn about services available to them from agencies/organizations, including: Tulare County Animal Control, TCSO, HHSA, CHP, RMA, Ladies Auxiliary, Employment Connection, Tulare County Transit, CDF, and Gang Awareness.
Tulare: C-SET will assist Tulare Emergency Aid with their fund-raiser, ”The Texas Hold Em Tournament“ benefiting Big Brothers Big Sisters and Tulare Emergency Aid.
Traver: The Portuguese Traver Lodge will be assisting community elders with home beautification projects and yardwork.
Visalia: The Visalia Jr. Leadership Youth will be assisting at the Good News Center in a number of projects including: a cleanup of the thrift storage room, assisting with a yard sale, and preparing for the day's lunch and dinner.
Woodlake: Community alleyways cleanup and Bravo Lake cleanup in partnership with Kiwanis, C-SET, City of Woodlake Public works and Proteus.
Woodville: Jr. Leadership youth and parents will conduct a community wide cleanup and free trash dumping will be provided for Woodville residents complements of Waste Management of Visalia, Tulare County Board of Supervisors and C-SET
A community-wide graffiti removal will be held and include park picnic tables and benches and Youth Center restrooms. Jr. Leadership youth will also be working on expanding their park mural
For the rest of us, the county offers the following:
County Cleanup Week Oct. 17-22
In an effort to cleanup Tulare County, the Tulare County Board of Supervisors approved an additional Cleanup Week for Valley residents from Oct. 17-22, 2005. Valley residents utilize the Teapot Dome, Woodville and Visalia landfills, along with the Earlimart and Springville transfer stations.
Tulare County residents that come to the landfills or transfer stations are charged discounted disposal fees resulting from their cleanup activities, excluding tires and refrigerators.
The Cleanup Week gives the residents of Tulare County the chance to clean up and clean out their homes and property. More than 3,000 residents disposed of approximately 1,300 tons of refuse during the cleanup week in April 2005.
We realize that you are probably anxious to get rid of the stuff that you bring to the landfill. If you will follow these helpful suggestions when you get ready to load your vehicle, your job will be greatly simplified.
1. Separate your trash from items that are recyclable before coming to the landfill - metal, tin and white goods, wood and green waste, pesticide containers (Woodville only) and tires.
2. Put your trash and waste at the front of the pick-up or trailer or on the bottom of the load. Then place the material that you can separate at the back of the pick-up or trailer or on the top. If you are doing a home remodel, for example, put the wood scraps on the top or at the back-end of the pick-up or trailer. Put the recyclable material where it is handy to unload in the recovery area. Remember, we charge you extra for an uncovered load, so save some money and cover your load!
3. You will be directed to the recovery area to unload your material as directed by the attendant.
If you have questions regarding cleanup week, please call (559) 733-6291. Visit the Tulare County Resource Management Agency - Solid Waste Division website at www.tularecountyrecycles.com or the California Integrated Waste Management Board website at www.ciwmb.ca.gov/WPW/Office/ for more recycling information.