Anchorage’s Citywide Cleanup is underway. Here’s how to participate.

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Through the month of May, people around Anchorage will have ample opportunities to pitch in and pick up trash during a community-wide spring cleaning.

The Citywide Cleanup, which is coordinated by the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, is the main event and kicks off Sunday at Westchester Lagoon followed by a series of cleanups the rest of the month. Teams and individuals can register online and pick up orange trash bags from Fred Meyer and other designated locations around Anchorage.

Disposal services don’t pick up trash-filled Citywide Cleanup bags from the side of the road, so it’s up to cleanup participants to bring them to a participating location where they can dispose of the orange bags for free. Disposal locations include the Anchorage Regional Landfill in Eagle River, Central Transfer Station in Midtown and Northern Waste on East Dowling Road.

Participants can also join the Citywide Cleanup official Facebook group or enter a giveaway online to win prizes from shipping company Matson from May 1-28. More information about the Citywide cleanup is available at

[Above: The Citywide Cleanup map includes orange bag pickup sites and disposal venues, as well as the locations of its events through the month of May. ]

Beyond the Chamber’s organized effort, there are several other cleanups that cover individual neighborhoods and waterways, as well.

Here are key dates for some of the cleanup efforts happening in May:

• On Sunday, May 1, the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce and Matson are launching the Citywide Cleanup by giving away $1,000 in prizes at Westchester Lagoon. The kickoff event starts at 11 a.m.

• Also on May 1, Operation Squeaky Clean Spenard hits the street to pick up trash in the neighborhood. The Alaska Cannabis Exchange is hosting the cleanup, set to start at 11 a.m. Check out the event’s Facebook page for more details.

Saturday, May 7 is the Anchorage School District’s Super Sweepers day. Register with your school coordinator online and orange bags will be delivered to the school. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fred Meyer will be giving away prizes, and Alaska Waste will be picking up bags.

Saturday, May 7 is also when the downtown cleanup event is happening. The Anchorage Downtown Partnership, United Way of Anchorage and the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce will meet in Town Square Park at 11 a.m. to clean up a winter’s worth of debris downtown.

• From May 12-24, the Creek Cleanup will be in full swing. It’s held each May and organized by the Anchorage Waterways Council, which promotes protection and restoration of waterways within the Municipality of Anchorage. Each year, volunteers hop into canoes and kayaks to pick up trash from local streams and waterways. The group has a schedule of locations they will focus on during various days in May.

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• Saturday, May 14 is the Ship Creek cleanup. Meet at the Bait Shack at 11 a.m. to help clean up the creek in preparation for the 2022 salmon season. After the event, volunteers are encouraged to gather for more giveaways.

On Wednesday, May 18, Alaska USA will give out orange bags and swag at its main office on 4000 Credit Union Drive. Come by from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. to learn how to win prizes during the Citywide Cleanup.

• Saturday, May 21 is when a major lake cleanup will take place in Anchorage, starting at 9 a.m. at the west end of Cuddy Family Midtown Park. The Anchorage Flotilla-Lake Cleanup includes representatives from Anchorage Parks and Recreation, Anchorage Park Foundation, Anchorage Waterways Council and Team Orange. Check the event’s Facebook page for more info.

• On Saturday, May 28, Go Hike Alaska will celebrate the end of a productive month of cleaning up our city with a hiking and cleaning event. Meet in the Glen Alps parking lot, time TBD. Check the Citywide Cleanup website for updates.

Organizers are asking cleanup volunteers to remember to stay safe while picking up trash throughout the city. That includes wearing bright colors and safety vests when cleaning near active roadways, and always wearing gloves. Be cautious of used needles, and dispose of them properly. Be aware of private property and ask permission before cleaning in those areas.

Free summer disposal pass

Anchorage residents can also register for a free summer landfill disposal pass in May. Here’s how it works: One person may register for up to two passes at a time for a single address. (The passes are good from May 1 to July 30.) If more than two adults live at the address, contact Solid Waste Services’ customer service for additional passes to be emailed to you.

All free drop-offs have to go to the Anchorage Regional Landfill in Eagle River; they can’t be used at the Central Transfer Station in Midtown. Girdwood residents can use their passes the Girdwood Transfer Station.

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Naomi Stock

Naomi Stock is a spring 2022 reporting intern for the Anchorage Daily News and a University of Alaska Anchorage journalism student.