By CINDY TOOPES Courier staff writer
---- — OTTUMWA — If you’d like to see a cleaner city, take the opportunity to participate in the upcoming Make Ottumwa Shine week. There’s still time to volunteer to help pick up trash at sites around town.
Coordinator Jody Gates said now is the “good weather time” for this event because temperatures are warmer and easier to tolerate. The special week begins Sunday and continues through Thursday, May 4.
“We have plenty of purple bags and gloves for people who want to volunteer to pick up trash and litter,” Gates said. “We have a list of sites that are available for people to adopt. The list is on the city’s web site at www.cityofottumwa.org.”
Volunteers can also contact Gates at the city’s health department at 641-683-0694 or Janice Bain at the Recycling Center at 641-683-0685.
“Once people are done cleaning, they need to let us know where the bags are so we can pick them up,” Gates said. “We’re appealing to the community to volunteer a couple of hours. We don’t have the group of volunteers like before.”
Make Ottumwa Shine started prior to 2001 when Dave Kramer, a former Courier editor, suggested a community cleanup, Gates said.
“Kramer energized the community cleanup idea,” Gates said. “We still use the same idea of adopting an area to clean. Back then, the city also accepted bulky items that would go the landfill.”
Customers still get that option because the city is still collecting one bulky item per week.
Gates noted that the city used to take in a lot of bulky items, but 52 weeks of bulky items does take up a lot of room in the county landfill.
“It’s the same thing, just a new year,” Gates said.
Interested citizens can stop at the city health department in Room 204 at City Hall and pick up purple bags.