ARLINGTON — The Country Manor neighborhood’s first “Spring Cleanup” event on Saturday, April 20, and Sunday, April 21, generated more interest than its organizers anticipated.
“We’ve already got one dumpster full,” said D’Ann Gidos, the president of Country Manor 2, only three hours after their free waste and recyclables collections started on April 20. “We got a lot more metal than I expected. A lot more wood, too, which was surprising.”
Gidos thanked not only Waste Management NW for supplying the eight-ton dumpster and conducting curbside pickups of furniture, yard debris, and mattresses and box springs on Thursday, April 18, but also the city of Arlington for supplying several yards of free compost for the residents of the neighborhood’s 244 units.
“This event is a first for this community,” said Gidos, who also thanked Budget Appliance Services of Everett for collecting the recyclable appliances, as well as Arlington Mayor Barbara Tolbert personally for her work with Country Manor. “She has been extremely helpful to us.”
The “Spring Cleanup” was scheduled for the weekend preceding this year’s Earth Day, and Gidos would like to see it not only become an annual event, but also be accompanied by a “Fall Cleanup” as well.
“We’ll definitely be more prepared for the next one,” said Gidos, who was joined by just shy of a dozen volunteers on April 20 in taking in trash and reusable materials. “We’ll need a bigger dumpster, and more input from the community, since we only had a month to prepare for this one. More volunteers would be great, too.”
Gidos expressed gratitude to the contributions of those who don’t even live in the Country Manor neighborhood for making the “Spring Cleanup” possible, a sentiment echoed by Country Manor 2 Vice President Robert Hernandez and Board member Brad Kaye.
“It’s encouraging to see so many people come together to try and lift up this whole community,” Kaye said. “The camaraderie has been great, and one lady was just so excited to be able to pick up free compost. Events like this make me glad to meet people I don’t know, and to shake their hands.”
Before the volunteers enjoyed a pizza dinner that Saturday afternoon, Gidos expressed the hope that such events could help set positive trends beyond their own community.
“Recycling and repurposing is a way of giving back,” Gidos said. “We throw too much stuff out into the trash, that winds up piling up in landfills, when what’s junk to one person can be treasure to another.”