FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Across Fairbanks and North Pole, the roads and highways can be quite a sight. The spring reveals what has been left behind from plastic bags to couches, but this Saturday residents around town are grabbing bags and talking trash and hitting the streets of town.
Tait Chandler works with Green Star of Interior Alaska. Chandler said, this is a great opportunity to participate in a community event to help clean up all the trash and litter that gets exposed after the snow melts.
“I think picking up trash is really important because it inspires pride in one’s community. It’s really hard to drive down the road and see a bunch of litter along the side of the road, it really doesn’t make you feel very good, and as tour season picks up it is really important to clean up our street and clean up our roadways they feel like Fairbanks is a clean place that they can spend their time and their money. And also it is better for the environment a lot of the trash will get eaten by animals which isn’t good for their health, it can leach into our water, so by picking it up we are preventing harm to the environment as well,” he said.
There are several organizations in town that have both yellow and green bags. The yellow is specific for trash, while the green bags are being used for recyclables.
“We are asking people to register and then come and pick up bags at one of those locations and they can pick up a stack of yellow bags to pick up all the trash and then a stack of green bags to pick up all the recycling. In this case the recycling is aluminum can and plastic number 1 and 2 bottles,” said Chandler.
He said he normally hosts the Saturday workdays at Green Star where volunteers help disassemble electronics in the warehouse, but they are actually closing the workday and encouraging all the volunteers and all of our supporters to get out and help on clean-up day. He said if you would like to join him he will be found picking up trash on 1st Avenue.
Another volunteer Steven Smith, who is the Scout Executive with the Midnight Sun Boy Scout Council said the Boy Scouts have been participating in clean-up day for many years.
“We have 2-thousand people signed up at this present time, to volunteers to be out there cleaning up. You can go on-line and register the location that you would like to do, and then you sign up and pick up your bags and there you go. We are open here Monday through Friday from 9-5, and Saturday we will be open 9-12 in order for you to get bags,” said Smith.
The Fairbanks Heavy Haulers will pick up bags left at intersections along main streets on May 11-th Only. Those organizing the event are asking not to leave bags by the road after Saturday because they will not be picked up.
“The community here is so strong that you know to go out every year to do this is just amazing, and we are very proud to be a part of that process, to be able to host the bags and manage the map, so it’s going to be a great weekend,” he said.
Locations to pick up green and yellow bags are at the Boy scouts off Gillam Way, Cowles Heating, and The Central Recycling Facility. For the Yellow trash bags only, they can be found at REI off college road, the United Way of the Tanana Valley, the UAF sustainability office, and lost local fire departments.
Bags of trash can be brought to the FNSB solid waste facility at 455 Sanduri Street in Fairbanks and recyclables can be dropped off at the Central recycling Facility at 1855 Marika Road.