City, county encouraging residents to clean up

Craig and Moffat County's annual cleanup weekend eases a little pressure on the city's self-described "weed Nazi."

The event encourages people to take the lead in beautification instead of it becoming a law enforcement issue, Code Enforcement Officer Becky Otis said.

And a communitywide cleanup effort is needed, she said.

Otis sees a lot of junk on her travels through the community. From vehicles and tires to weeds and overgrown shrubbery, there's a lot to be done.

"Someday is here," Otis said. "You need to get rid of some of the stuff because you're not ever going to fix it. If you've had it for more than six years, you're not going to fix it."

The city and county are teaming to provide incentives to residents for cleaning their property.

People can take their tires and appliances to the north end of City Park from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and dispose of them for free.

That includes people who live outside of Craig city limits.

"We don't treat citizens of Craig and Moffat County residents differently," said City Road and Bridge Department Supervisor Randy Call. "They're all in our community."

The city will pay to have the freon removed from appliances and then transport them to Axis Steel, which will take them for free once the chemicals have been removed.

The cleanup day last year cost the city about $10,000 -- something absorbed as a community service.

"It's just a little something we do for the community," Call said.

It's difficult to calculate how much it costs the county.

During cleanup days, the county accepts all tires at the landfill for free.

"Tires are our main thrust," Moffat County Road and Bridge Department Director Bill Mack said. "They're one of the worst things as far as breeding grounds for mosquitoes. It's better to have them concentrated in one area rather than spread all over the county."

Last year, 3,260 tires were taken to the landfill during cleanup days. The year before, 5,000 tires were collected.

In the past, the county allowed residents to dump their trash for free at the landfill, but that caused too many problems and was too costly, Mack said.

"It was really tough," he said. "The traffic was lined up, and people were cranky because they had to wait."

Instead, the county offers vouchers for one day of free dumping to all Moffat County landowners.

"We really like the vouchers because it spreads the use out," Mack said.

Last year, about 550 vouchers were used at the landfill.

Vouchers are available at the Moffat County Assessor's Office.

Otis is asking that residents use the event to clean up alleyways.

"We see a lot, a lot, a lot of tires, especially in the alleys," she said. "These days are a perfect opportunity to get rid of them for free."

She also asks that people trim their trees and hedges around alleys so they don't impede traffic or scratch vehicles driving through.

Christina M. Currie can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 210 or at ccurrie@craigdailypress.com.

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