Every April, the communities of Bingen and White Salmon celebrate "Community Pride Week."
This year, the main event will take place on the weekend of April 23-25. Over those three days, the collection site -- next to the Bingen Public Works shop on Lakeview Road on the way to Bingen Point -- will transform into a beehive of activity. The amazing annual cleanup festival -- now in its 15th consecutive year -- will feature a variety of traditional and new approaches to sprucing up the community.
Among the tried and true features, the Community Pride collection site will be accepting recyclables of virtually all kinds -- paper, plastics, glass, electronics, trash, brush and scrap wood, used appliances, used building materials, scrap metal, small engines, and old bicycles, all at no charge. Even used tires will be accepted for a $3 fee per tire, as long as the tire is off the rim.
But there are some exciting, innovative new endeavors this year as well. This year, private residents and/or businesses will be able to bring sensitive materials (tax information, bills, medical receipts) for shredding by a professional shredding company -- Gorge Shredding. There will be a 10 cents per pound charge for this service. Also, Hood River Tree Service will bring a huge grinder to the site on Monday, April 26, and will set about grinding down limbs and lumber. Even lumber with nails in it will be ground up (a powerful magnet removes the nails). In a win-win plan, the company will haul the wood chips and woody debris to SDS Lumber Co. to be burned in its hog fuel boiler. That sure beats shipping it to the landfill.
As has been its tradition, Republic Services -- the operator of the regional landfill in Roosevelt -- is donating four 48-foot containers at no cost to the cleanup organizers.
There are many heroes with this yearly endeavor who deserve thanks from all of us: the Mount Adams Chamber of Commerce and Rotary; Republic Services; Windermere and Pacific Rim Brokers; Insitu; the businesses that supply free food to the volunteers and the many volunteers themselves; the cities of Bingen and White Salmon; the key organizers such as Teunis Wyers, the brainchild and longtime chairman of this great event; Brad Roberts of Rotary; Marsha Holliston of the Mount Adams Chamber of Commerce; John Longfellow of the Klickitat County Solid Waste Department; and a number of others.
Everyone involved in this endeavor deserves credit. Somehow, they've turned a lot of work into a lot of fun.