It's April, so that means it must be just about time for Community Pride Week.
For the 15th straight year, the Mount Adams Chamber of Commerce and the local Rotary International chapter are coordinating a community-wide cleanup. This year's event will take place April 23-25.
The focal point of the weekend will be essentially the same as in previous years: Local residents can bring in all manner of unwanted items to the staging area, which is on Lakeview Road on the way to Bingen Point. The site is just east of SDS Lumber Co. and next to the Bingen Public Works Department shop. At the cleanup center, a team of volunteers will either recycle items, find other uses for them, or route them to the landfill.
Marsha Holliston, manager of the Chamber of Commerce and one of the Community Pride Week organizers, said a positive response from the community is typical each year, and she anticipates no less this year.
"I start getting phone calls in January asking me when this event is going to be," Holliston explained.
Holliston pointed out that Community Pride Week has grown into a popular, highly anticipated weekend.
"Definitely, people are just loving Community Pride Week," she said.
The list of items that can be dropped off is long and impressive. The list includes all general recycling -- paper, plastic, glass, metals; small engines, whether working or not; used appliances such as washers and dryers; and reusable construction materials -- sinks, windows, counters, whatever could be reusable for construction. Grass and lawn clippings are also accepted; these will be sent to the landfill.
The organizers are requesting a $3 donation per load brought to the collection site.
For the third year in a row, Insitu will handle electronics recycling -- people can drop off their old radios, TVs, computers, and other electronic goods at the Insitu tent. Second-Hand Rose, an offshoot of Washington Gorge Action Programs, will accept used clothing and furniture. As traditional, used tires will be taken, for a $3 fee per tire. One stipulation: The tires must be off their rims.
There are a few restrictions: No household garbage, no paint, no batteries, no propane bottles, no oil or automotive fluids, no pesticides, and no fluorescent light tubes.
Republic Services -- the current operator of the regional landfill at Roosevelt -- will again be donating free containers. This year, the landfill operator will provide a total of four 48-foot containers, which will be filled and hauled to the landfill at no cost to Community Pride Week organizers.
Holliston thought that would be more than enough for the weekend.
"Four containers is going to be fantastic. The majority of things that end up in the containers are limbs and debris," she explained.
The city of Bingen is getting directly involved as well.
"We are going to help pick up items," said Bingen Mayor Betty Barnes. "Our Public Works Department truck and one employee will help around the town of Bingen. It's time to clean up and get ready for spring."
The hours for the cleanup event are as follows:
Friday, April 23: Noon-4 p.m.;
Saturday, April 24, & Sunday, April 25: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
"One thing we need to stress is, we cannot take items before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m.," Holliston said. "People have a habit of showing up at 8 in the morning, but the gates will be closed."
There will be a few new ventures his year: On Friday from 12-4, Gorge Security Shred, a Hood River company, is going to station equipment at the collection site to allow individuals or businesses to have documents professionally and securely shred for 10 cents a pound.
"They are certified for everything you could image as far as document shredding," said Holliston. "They are a fabulous new company."
In another welcome endeavor, Hood River Tree Service will be at the site on Monday, April 26, using its huge grinders on the scrap lumber and tree limbs left from the weekend.
"They will process limbs and lumber, even if there are nails in it," said Holliston. "They will be able to grind the material, and a strong magnet pulls out the nails. They are offering this free of charge to the Community Pride committee."
The company will haul the chips and other woody debris to SDS, which will burn the material in the company's hog fuel boiler.
Holliston said the cleanup event has turned into something of a community party.
"When this first started, this was Bingen and White Salmon's way to celebrate Earth Day," Holliston said. "This is our way of celebrating."
Volunteers will be available to help transport items for those unable to do so on their own. To schedule a pickup, call 493-3630.