Community Pride Week, the multi-faceted, annual cleanup campaign for the greater Bingen/White Salmon community, will kick off on April 22, with the April 19-21 weekend set for the biggest push.
Beginning Friday at noon, the trash collection site, on Lakeview Boulevard across the Bingen wastewater plant, will be abuzz with heavy equipment loading trash into containers. Those containers will later be hauled to the Rabanco regional landfill at Roosevelt.
On April 10, the committee planning the event met for the final time to discuss how to handle the campaign. With most of the committee members experienced from previous years, however, much of the planning is fine-tuning a successful framework.
"Our organizational process is, `everybody do what they did last year, and we're all set,'" joked Teunis Wyers, one of the primary organizers of the cleanup effort.
As was the case for last year's event, each day will feature its own specific theme. Monday, the opening day of the week-long campaign, for example, is being promoted as "Sweep the sidewalks day," while Tuesday will be "Plant a flower day."
To help get the word out, a team of several volunteers, led by Mary Ann Voight, distributed hundreds of information sheets to homes around the area.
"I hope there's a good turnout," Voight said. "Last year, the flyers didn't get distributed. I want to thank all the crew that helped."
Almost all types of material will be accepted, including scrap metal, recyclable paper, plastics, and glass, brush and tree limbs, used appliances, used tires.
Items such as food scraps, hazardous household waste, electric motors, and wire will not be allowed.
The hours for the main dump site in Bingen will be as follows: The site will open at noon on Friday, April 26, and stay open until 5 p.m. On Saturday, it will be open 8 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
At least two local businesses -- Windermere/Glenn Taylor Real Estate and Innovative Composites Engineering (ICE) -- will be sending their employees out to do community cleanup for a day while on the company payroll.
ICE employee Jeremy Herman said he had participated in the comunity cleanup in previous years, and wanted to be involved again this year. He set up an idea with ICE owner Steve Maier, and Maier was enthusiastic about helping out.
"I've actually volunteered for the last three years, and wanted to see if I could do it again this year," Herman explained. "Everybody warmed right up to the idea."
Twelve ICE employees will take their full workday -- with pay -- on April 26 to help with the campaign.
The biggest contributor to the event is Rabanco Regional Disposal Co., which is providing containers, trucking to Roosevelt, and accepting trash at no charge to the community.
In 2001, the week-long event filled nearly four trash containers. In addition, 1,242 discarded tires were brought to the site.
The tires have traditionally been taken for a fee, and that is the case again this year: cost to dump tires this year will be $2 per passenger vehicle tire, and $10 for semi-truck tires.
This year, organizers of the community-wide event are requesting a $2 cash donation for every load brought to the dump site on April 26, 27, 28. Even with the large number of volunteers and free service from Rabanco, some costs are not being met, and planners hope to defray those costs with the donations.
City crews from both Bingen and White Salmon will offer additional free services. In White Salmon, city employees will collect yard debris -- weeds, shrub cuttings, grass, and small tree limbs -- at no added cost.
In Bingen, the city crew will go around and pick up yard material that is put in piles by curbs. Again, there is no cost.
Bingen Mayor Brian Prigel praised those who have built the Community Pride Week campaign.
"I think they've done a great job. I hope they don't get burned out and discontinue it," Prigel said. "It's a benefit to the community, and well-received."
Prigel added that he usually volunteers during the weekend pickup crew, and I'll likely do that again," Prigel said.
Those with large items and no way to transport it can call the Mt. Adams Chamber of Commerce office (493-3630) and arrange for a pickup team to collect the material.