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Spring pick up begins this month

WORTHINGTON -- It's that time of the year again for spring cleaning.

Residents can begin placing unwanted items on the curb Monday for the annual city-wide spring trash pick-up.

The service will commence Monday, April 23, and is limited for the city's residential utility customers.

Residents can dispose of items that are not eligible for weekly garbage or recycling collection.

As a collaboration between the city of Worthington and Schaap Sanitation, spring pick-up provides residents with the opportunity to dispose items at almost half the price it would cost them to dump the items.

Residents wanting to get rid of items must first purchase $11-tags from City Hall, the Public Utilities Office, Schaap Sanitation or the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce.

Hot water heaters will be collected for free, along with piles of lumber, doors, windows, metal and iron.

Metal and wood-type items will be limited a quantity that would fit into a pick-up box measuring 2 feet high, 4 feet wide, and 8 feet long.

Tags will be available Monday, but the cost will double for tags purchased after Friday, April 20, and can only be purchased from City Hall.

The city's director of public works, Jim Laffrenzen, and Schaap Sanitation's district manager, Eric Joens, explained the reason behind doubling the price of tags is to avoid procrastination.

"We're trying to do this as efficiently and as economically as possible," Joens said. "If we have to go back two or three times, it will cost taxpayers more money."

Laffrenzen said the changes made in 2011 including the tag system and the items eligible for collection, brought the cost of collection down significantly from 2010. The cost for last year's clean-up was down about $37,360 from the year before.

The three-way sort system for spring pick up will call for residents to separate garbage-type items like furniture and appliances, from metal, and wood items.

Joens stressed the importance of separating the items because of the different collection vehicles used. Each category of items will be collected once.

"Once we've gone past your house, we're not coming back," Laffrenzen said.

There is no specific route for the collection except depending on traffic flow.

"We might take three days or a week but we will not go by your house twice," Joens said.

Residents are reminded not to mix regular garbage and recyclable items with things for spring pick up, Joens said, adding if they do, none of their items will be collected.

All illegal dumping should be reported to the Worthington Police Department as soon as possible.

"Once it's on your boulevard, it's your responsibility as the property owner to get rid of it," Laffrenzen said.

For further information, call the city, 372-8650, or Schaap Sanitation, 376-9218.

Daily Globe Reporter Ana Anthony can be reached at 376-7321.