Longtime Air Quality Matters blog readers are no doubt well aware of the fact that one of the included categories is “Clean up.” Now, it’s interesting: Most though not all Air Quality Matters posts have this one category listed. “Clean up” is in reference to “Air pollution;” another of this blog’s categories.
And on cleaning up, well, there is this praiseworthy program in Fresno, California known as “Operation Clean Up.”
In “Garbage in = garbage out? Not always” I made brief reference.
What I wrote was: “Described as follows, ‘Operation Clean Up program is designed to assist City of Fresno (not county residents) single-family homeowners and residents in the removal of excess trash, rubbish, and other bulky goods (such as old stoves, refrigerators, water heaters, sofas, etc.) not picked up by Solid Waste.’”
The program is quite commendable because it is effective in terms of having all of the aforementioned refuse picked up and hauled away in what I would call a sustainable way.
Interestingly, there are typically those “rummagers” making their rounds as they course in their motor vehicles (cars, pickup trucks, pickup trucks with trailers) through and around neighborhoods rummaging through quite a bit of the discarded materials searching for “finds,” that is, prior to when the material is removed by paid city employees whose jobs it is to pick up and haul away the curb-placed items. To give an example, seen can be quite a number of people who in pickup trucks outfitted with trailers have loaded on them such things as: old refrigerators, washing machines and dryers. I even saw one individual transporting in a trailer attached to a pickup truck a soda dispenser of all things. Some of this stuff probably gets refurbished and then resold.
Much of the waste is greenery; clippings from trees mainly, that more than likely ends up getting chipped in a chipper or shredded in a shredder and hence turned into compost. This very effort is praiseworthy indeed. And, as a result a goodly proportion of the throwaways are kept out of the waste stream and out of landfills.
This once-per-year city cleanup service is an excellent way to prevent at least some of the debris from being incinerated, the smoke from which would needlessly add to an already local dirty air condition.
It certainly doesn’t hurt that there are a host of city employees operating a contingent of front-end loaders, refuse trucks, street sweepers, etc. that are themselves cleaner-burning.
The business of Operation Clean Up and others like it is, well, cleaning up – literally.