Whether your inspiration is Marie Kondo or the warm weather, now is the perfect time for Hermiston residents to do a little spring cleaning.
City and area businesses are providing opportunities to get rid of everything from paint to yard waste this month.
At Sanitary Disposal, Spring Cleaning Week is in effect through Sunday. Area residents can drop off loads up to 2.5 cubic yards for free, and cash customers can get $14 off larger loads at the transfer station at 81444 N Highway 395. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.
Tires are billed at the regular rate, but Umatilla County residents can get rid of old tires for free the next week on April 13. That day, the city of Hermiston will be hosting its annual free recycling event in the Umatilla Electric Cooperative parking lot, 750 W Elm Ave., from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“We always get tons,” Parks and Recreation Director Larry Fetter said. “Last year we got nine tons of tires.”
Fetter said the list of what residents can drop off for free to be recycled is similar to last year. It includes cardboard, paper, plastics, undamaged car batteries, unbroken pallets, electronics, appliances (including those with freon), scrap metal, compost, upholstered furniture, concrete without rebar, latex and oil-based paints and stains, clean wood and tires.
They will not be accepting pesticides and other hazardous materials, paper that needs shredding or motor oil. Even though the city will not be collecting motor oil, Fetter said they will provide people with a list of which area businesses do collect it. He said the city is not planning to provide shredding at the event, but Old West Credit Union is planning a shredding event for June.
The free recycling event on April 13 is for Umatilla County residents only and cars with Washington plates will be turned away.
For anyone who has an old vehicle (including cars, board, motorcycles or RVs), they can donate it to the Good Shepherd Community Health Foundation. The foundation will arrange for free pick-up, and the donation can be used as a tax write-off. To donate, call 541-667-3419 or visit www.gshealth.org/foundation.
Local thrift shops such as those operated by Goodwill, Desert Rose Ministries and Pet Rescue accept donations of used clothing and other household items year-round.
As for clean-up efforts around the city, the annual “I Love My City” cleanup event will take place May 18 this year from 9 a.m. to noon. Volunteers will meet at McKenzie Park and be assigned areas of the city where they can sweep, pull weeds, pick up trash and otherwise spruce up the area.
Umatilla residents will have their own community clean-up event to look forward to on April 13. The day marks the community’s annual “Slam Dunk the Junk” from 9 a.m. to noon. Waste collection sites will be located around the city that morning and volunteers will move through neighborhoods to help clean up properties and haul unwanted items from yards. To sign up to be a volunteer, to sponsor a dumpster or for more information call 541-922-3226 x108 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
City staff are already working on sprucing up city properties as the weather gets warm. Jason Barron, Hermiston’s parks manager, said his department has hired four seasonal workers and is looking for more.
“We’re still a little short-handed,” he said.
Workers unlocked restrooms and put out picnic tables at city parks around town on Monday to kick off the spring parks season. Picnic shelters at the parks are now available for reservations by calling the parks department at 541-667-5018.
Barron said staff have also been edging sidewalks around parks, weeding, landscaping flower beds, pressure-washing restrooms and shelters, scrubbing away graffiti, trimming bushes and more to get parks in shape for the busy season. They will be adding mulch from old Christmas trees to the disc golf course off of Northwest 11th Street later.
The department continues to work on the remodel of Greenwood Park off Beach Avenue. They plan to put in the finishing touches, including new play equipment and a shelter, by mid-June.
Barron said members of the public can do their part at city parks by cleaning up after themselves, disposing of litter and by picking up after their dogs. They can also report problems such as broken equipment to the parks department.
“We just ask everyone to try and be a respectful user,” he said.