Annual Juneau cleanup day is here

Courtesy Litter Free, Inc.

Put on your rain gear, grab a bright yellow bag, and join your neighbors in Saturday’s annual Juneau clean up.

Sponsored by the non-profit Litter Free, Inc., with help from the city and borough, Cleanup Day is an effort to get Juneau residents to pick up the trash that litters roadways and other public areas throughout the borough.

Bags are available between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. at eight sites:

Foodland parking lot
Douglas Fire Hall
Western Auto
Lyles and Jensen Home Furnishings
Super Bear Supermarket
Duck Creek Market
UAS Bookstore, Auke Bay
Lynn Canal Fire Station.

Once you pick up a bag, “head out to the public areas and cleanup for an hour or two, and then tie the bags up and set them on the side of the road by 2 p.m.,” says Litter Free’s John Logan. “And then after that we have about 20 volunteer contractors that pick up the bags and take them to the landfill and Waste Management accepts all that litter for free.”

All Cleanup Day volunteers are invited to a picnic at Duck Creek Market from noon to 1:30 p.m.

Laurie Sica has been president of Litter Free for the last 15 years. She has statistics from the trash pickup since 1985.

While volunteers sometimes find refrigerators and other appliances, she says most of it is just litter.

“The usual run-of-the-mill glass and plastic and aluminum beverage containers, papers that have blown. They do pick up lots of tires and auto parts that fall off cars and just your random odd things,” Sica says. “I know kids have been out doing litter patrols and they’ve reported that they’ve found wallets and they’ve found cash.”

Wallets, cash and other personal stuff should be turned into the Juneau Police Department.

Last year, Juneau picked up 44,000 pounds of litter, but it wasn’t a record. That came in 1988, when volunteers hauled 214,000 pounds of junk to the land fill.

1999 was the low year with only 12,900 pounds. Sica says the weather was extremely bad that year.

It’s likely to be raining tomorrow, but don’t let that deter you from helping clean up the capital city.