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Spring Clean-Up canceled but some do-gooders go it alone

JACKSON, Wyo. — Officially, the annual Town Spring Clean-Up Program is canceled this year due to distancing restrictions regarding COVID-19. That hasn’t kept some, however, from taking matters (and garbage) into their own hands.

Spring Clean-Up Day is a community tradition dating back to 1969. The volunteer effort is coordinated by the Rotary Lunch Club. The event is held the second Saturday of May.

With officials already postponing the 2020 version to, perhaps, a Fall Clean-Up Day, here’s what that means:

The Recycling Center will not have the brown paper bags to hand out, nor will they be available at the two town locations. There will be no free curbside pick-up or free drop-off of residential yard waste at the Rodeo Grounds or Trash Transfer Station.

Individuals may purchase their own compostable bags for yard waste and bring that to the Trash Transfer Station during operating hours (non-compostable bags will be sent home with you, and, please, no dog poo or trash). The fee for yard waste is $83 a ton. You must have an account to use the Trash Transfer Station. Call 733-7678 in advance of coming. Accounts can take up to 24 hours to set up, by the way.

Now, the better news. Dozens of folks have been spotted in town and around the county, patrolling roadsides and filling bags with litter. Normally, during the one-day clean-up event, these bags are then picked up by Public Works and other municipal agencies.

Outside of town limits, WYDOT is doing what it can to assist freelance picker-uppers. Maintenance shop foreman Bruce Daigle said WYDOT has been and will continue to pick up bags of trash they spot along state highways.

“We appreciate it and we will pick it up,” Daigle said. “We know it’s nice for some people to get out and get some fresh air doing something good for the community and we are happy to help with their efforts.”

The Norton family has traditionally spearheaded the Rotary Spring Clean-Up. April Norton said she has noted people in the community have been taking matters upon themselves and that’s great, but as far as a more organized effort within town limits, she asks the community to follow a few guidelines to help pull off what is now an “unofficial” together-apart community cleanup.

Norton shared:

  • On Sunday May 3, we will be hanging orange bags up around the town and county. The bags will be tied to either a stop sign or mile marker post.
  • We ask that during the week of May 4-10, volunteers take a bag and clean along the road going in the direction of traffic until their bag is full or until they reach the next set of bags, whichever comes first.
  • Volunteers may clean as many sections as they want. However, we ask that people adhere to extra safety precautions, including: wearing a mask, wearing gloves, and keeping at least 6 feet of distance between non-household/family members (people who live together may clean closer than 6 feet).
  • When you are finished, you can leave your bag on the side of the road as usual. The Town of Jackson will pick up all the bags within Town limits, WYDOT will pick up all bags along the highway, and Team Norton will pick up all the bags on County roads. Thank you to WYDOT and the Town Public Works!
  • While you’re out cleaning, take a picture and share it with Rotary! Even though we’ll be cleaning apart, we know we’re all in this together as One Jackson Hole! You can email pictures or text them to April Norton at 307-690-7442.

Burn week will still be on for early May.

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