Hauling out the trash

Cleanup rids city, residents of junk appliances

As Craig's code enforcement officer, Becky Otis knows there are plenty of old appliances around town that need to be disposed of.

Working during the city's free tire and appliance disposal day all weekend made her wonder about the ones she hadn't seen before.

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"People bring in refrigerators that look like they are from the 1920s," she said. "They're all rusted out, and you wonder, 'Where did they get that thing?'"

The city's collection day for old tires and appliances continued during the weekend with the goal of cleaning up the community.

The event also kept workers wondering where it all was coming from.

"We hauled away 193 refrigerators already, and that's a record," said Rod Durham of the city's solid waste department. "Last year we had 140 for both days."

Durham's statistics came by noon Sunday, with four hours left to go on collection day.

On Saturday alone, city residents disposed of 770 tires at the park, while county residents added another 863 to the dumpsters.

Seven roll-off dumpsters full of other appliances including washers, dryers, stoves and hot-water heaters made their way to Axis Steel during the weekend where they will be recycled.

Refrigerators presented a special challenge for the crews; Freon has to be removed from the unit before recycling can begin.

Vic Updike and Lee Fagan worked through the day Saturday and Sunday, removing the gas and keeping it contained so that it can be properly disposed of.

City truck drivers worked all day taking away full dumpsters and returning with empty ones. Tom Doolin took the truck driving duty Saturday, and Doyle Moon ran the route Sunday.

Inmate volunteers from the Moffat County Jail helped lift old appliances from personal trucks and trailers to the dumpsters, with one man estimating that he loaded 1,600 tires during the two-day collection period.

After buying a new house recently, Dale Pickering said the timing was good for him to clean up the yard and take some tires to the park for disposal. He also threw some old metal doors into the dumpster for recycling steel.

Craig resident Brent Jessen never had used the free disposal service before Sunday, but the ease of disposing his old Westinghouse refrigerator made him a fan of the effort to clean up Craig.

"This is the first time for me using the free day," he said. "It's good that the city offers this for residents."

Durham points to all the people who contributed to make the project a success, including the landfill operators who came in to work during the weekend, accepting tires and appliances that could be delivered directly to the site.

"I don't know exactly how many appliances we hauled this weekend, but it's a lot," Durham said. "It's pretty much a normal year, but with more stuff."

Dan Olsen can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 207, or dolsen@craigdailypress.com.

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