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Elgin scraps annual Spring Cleanup week
By Harry Hitzeman | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 1/28/2010 4:38 PM | Updated: 1/28/2010 8:16 PM

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Budget woes and Elgin's effort to become a more sustainable community have effectively ended a relatively new city tradition.

The city will not have its annual Spring Cleanup week the last week of March, said Sue Olafson, city spokeswoman.

Eliminating the week of unlimited trash collection will save the city about $350,000, she said, adding the city does not have plans to reinstate the service in 2011.

Olafson said the city also wants to emphasize the reuse and recycling of household goods and items. The unlimited trash pickup, which dumped some 3,000 tons into landfills last year, was inconsistent with that message.

"We need to look at what our actions are demonstrating," she said. In addition to trash, the city paid Waste Management to pick up large items such as appliances and even old tires.

In past years, the city worked with organizations like the Salvation Army and ReStore, a home improvement resale shop at 800 N. State St. operated by the Northern Fox Valley Habitat for Humanity.

Jeremy Keen, ReStore director, said an uptick in donations was noticeable last year during spring cleaning week. He hopes the ReStore staff can use the city's cancellation as a way to drive more donations.

"I think it's important to let them know about alternative options other than just throwing (stuff) away," Keen said. "It could drive traffic to us or we could use it internally as a promotional tool."

For details or to schedule a pickup appointment, call (847) 742-9905, Ext. 2.

Olafson said the city has held Spring Cleanup week since 2005 and will still offer free brush and yard waste pickup in April.