It’s time for Anchorage’s annual spring cleanup. Here’s how to participate.

After a long winter, Anchorage residents have many opportunities over the next few weeks to help clean up the once snow-buried trash that litters the city’s streets and trails this time of year.

The annual Citywide Cleanup, coordinated by the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce, begins this weekend and runs through June 3. There will be no official kickoff event this year due to the large amount of snow still on the ground, but a volunteer appreciation event is planned for late May, according to organizers.

Teams and individuals can register online to participate in the cleanup effort. Participants can join the Citywide Cleanup official Facebook group or enter a giveaway online to win prizes from shipping company Matson.

Bright orange trash bags are now available for free pickup from Fred Meyer stores in Anchorage and Eagle River and other designated locations, including the Anchorage Chamber office, Chamber President and CEO Bruce Bustamante said.

The trash-filled bags can be disposed of for free at the Anchorage Regional Landfill in Eagle River, Central Transfer Station in Midtown and Northern Waste on East Dowling Road. (The bags should not be left on the side of the road.)

Beyond the Chamber’s organized effort, there are other cleanups planned for specific neighborhoods, schools, trails and waterways all around Anchorage — including more than 40 lakes, creeks and marshes.

To stay safe while picking up trash, volunteers are encouraged to wear bright colors and safety vests near roadways, and to wear gloves. Extra care should be used while handling used needles, which should be disposed of properly, ideally in puncture-proof, lidded plastic containers.


Anchorage’s popular free landfill disposal passes are also returning this summer for residents; more on that below.

Cleanup efforts happening in May

Ship Creek Trail — Thursday, May 4: The Boardroom and the Launch Co. are hosting a cleanup along the Ship Creek Trail followed by a happy hour and barbecue. The event starts at 4 p.m. at the Boardroom and goes until 5:30 p.m.

• Anchorage schools — Saturday, May 6: To participate in the Anchorage School District’s Super Sweepers day, register with your school coordinator online and orange bags will be delivered to the school. Fifty-eight schools have already signed up, according to Bustamante, and organizers hope to have 4,000 volunteers participate. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Fred Meyer will be giving away prizes, and Alaska Waste will pick up bags filled with trash.

• Downtown — Tuesday, May 9: Spend an evening cleaning up downtown with the Anchorage Downtown Partnership, United Way of Anchorage and the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce. Event starts in Town Square Park and goes from 4 to 6 p.m.

• Creek Cleanup — May 12 to 21: Join the Anchorage Waterways Council’s annual Creek Cleanup via canoe and kayak by picking up trash from local streams and waterways. A list of cleanup locations is available online, along with a signup for the days when you’d like to help out.

• Ship Creek — Saturday, May 13: Meet at the Bait Shack at 11 a.m. to participate in the 11th annual Ship Creek cleanup, with giveaways at the end of the event.

• Fairview neighborhood — Saturday, May 13: This special neighborhood cleanup begins at 9 a.m. at the Fairview Recreation Center. Teams will be assigned to pickup trucks and trailers, “ready to sweep through alleys and vacant lots, making our streets spick and span,” organizers wrote in the Facebook event.

• Spenard/Turnagain neighborhood — Saturday, May 13: The ”Spenardagain” neighborhood cleanup hosted by RMG Real Estate Network will begin in their parking lot on Benson Boulevard at 9 a.m. The event will conclude at 4 p.m. with an afterparty that includes games and food.

• Part of Campbell Creek Trail — Saturday, May 13: The Anchorage Running Club is hosting a cleanup that will begin at 11 a.m. in the parking lot behind the Peanut Farm, and will include a portion of the Campbell Creek Trail approaching Dowling Road.

• Flotilla cleanup — Saturday, May 20: The second annual flotilla cleanup focusing on Anchorage’s lakes and lagoons is open to anyone with a kayak, canoe, packraft or waders. Visit the online sign-up form to choose a body of water: Sand Lake, DeLong Lake, Sundi Lake, Cheney Lake, Jewel Lake, Taku Lake, Goose Lake or Westchester Lagoon. Teams will meet at the Cuddy Family Midtown Park parking circle between 9 and 10 a.m. for maps and supplies before heading out to clean up their assigned lake. This event is hosted by Anchorage Parks and Recreation, the Anchorage Park Foundation, Anchorage Waterways Council and Team Orange.

• Volunteer appreciation event — Saturday, May 27: Join sponsor Matson and the Anchorage Chamber for a volunteer appreciation event, time and location TBA. Follow the Citywide Cleanup official Facebook group for updated information.

Free landfill disposal passes

Separately, Anchorage residents have until May 31 to register for up to two free summer landfill disposal passes for a single address, and the passes are good through the end of July. If more than two adults live at that address, contact Solid Waste Services’ customer service for additional passes.

Each pass is good for one free trash load, up to 1,000 pounds or about the size of a standard pickup truck bed, with other restrictions in place. All drop-offs have to go to the Anchorage Regional Landfill in Eagle River. Girdwood residents can use their passes at the Girdwood Transfer Station.

Are we missing a spring cleanup event in the Anchorage area? Email reporter Annie Berman at with the details, and we’ll add it to this story.

Annie Berman

Annie Berman is a reporter covering health care, education and general assignments for the Anchorage Daily News. She previously reported for Mission Local and KQED in San Francisco before joining ADN in 2020. Contact her at