Saturday, February 11, 2006

Community Clean-up Day

The Key West Clean and Green Committee organizes community-wide clean up days several times a year. Today was such a day. The Committee recruits volunteers and supplies them with plastic bags, disposable gloves, and arranges for Waste Management, the City's waste disposal contractor, to cruise around and pick up the bags of trash collected.

I volunteered to clean Thomas St. from Catherine to Southard, a task that took me only about an hour. The street was surprisingly clean of litter, yielding only two bags from the entire length. The worst spot was the corner of Thomas and Virginia. Commissioner Clayton Lopez and I removed some heavier debris at that corner, and I picked quite a few empty beer bottles out of the tall grass growing around a vacant lot. Others worked on the cross streets -- Catherine, Amelia, Virginia, Julia, Truman, Olivia, Petronia, Angela and Southard.

Some of the kids who live here apparently haven't been taught to not litter. I see them (and some adults as well) simply drop an empty bag or bottle wherever they happen to be when they finish with it. If more people would clean around their own residences, it might not even be necessary to hold these clean-up days.

Something we would like the City to do for us is to schedule periodic street sweepings in the neighborhood. It would require the cooperation of residents to not park on designated streets for a few hours when notified that cleaning is scheduled, giving the sweepers an opportunity to do a thorough job.

Commissioner Lopez said that he was told by the City Manager that three of the City's five sweeping machines were destroyed in post-Wilma flooding. Replacements have been ordered, but their arrival date is uncertain.

I met two women who were cleaning on Fort and Emma Streets, and who also volunteered to clean the yard around one of our Bahama Conch Community Land Trust (BCCLT) properties on Emma Street that was particularly messy. One of the women was a resident of Bahama Village. The other is a year-round resident of Truman Annex. I tried to get some volunteers from among BCCLT lessees to help out, but to my knowledge none of them did. Disappointing.

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