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Orange bags and helping hands: 2 weeks left for Anchorage citywide cleanup

  • Author: Anchorage Daily News
  • Updated: May 14
  • Published May 14

Volunteers from a Hmong group at Faith Lutheran Church deposit trash they picked up from along the Seward Highway near Tudor Road on Saturday, April 27, 2019. This year, Anchorage citywide cleanup organizers are encouraging volunteers to practice physical distancing and enhanced safety measures. (Loren Holmes / ADN archive)

Anchorage’s citywide cleanup event, an annual rite of spring, is continuing through the end of May, giving volunteers plenty of opportunities to lend a helping hand while still practicing physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than 1,500 volunteers have registered, according to the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, which organized the cleanup. Volunteer teams can register online through the chamber’s website to reserve bags.

The cleanup’s signature orange bags for collecting trash are available for pickup at nine locations in Anchorage, as well as Fred Meyer in Eagle River and Alpine Air in Girdwood. Orange bags filled with trash may be dropped off for free during the cleanup event at the Anchorage Regional Landfill, Central Transfer Station, Northern Waste and Blue Arctic Waste Solutions; they shouldn’t be left on the side of the road.

Certain precautions are being encouraged this year to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. Organizers urged participants to “maintain safe physical distancing while picking up trash,” wear face coverings, use trash grabbers if possible and wear reusable gloves so disposable gloves may be available for health care workers.

Large groups that would typically gather for the cleanup, which started May 4, “should encourage members to participate in solo or family clean-up efforts while maintaining physical distancing requirements.”

Found syringes should be handled carefully and placed in a sturdy, lidded plastic container for disposal, according to state health department recommendations.

Summer disposal passes

In lieu of Free Dump Days this year, Solid Waste Services is issuing free summer disposal passes to Municipality of Anchorage residents. The passes can be used through Sept. 5 at the Anchorage Regional Landfill, and there’s a limit of one pass per resident. Registration at muni.org/sws closes at midnight Monday.

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