03/10/10 — Fremont cleanup day called a good success

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Fremont cleanup day called a good success

By Laura Collins
Published in News on March 10, 2010 1:46 PM

It took John Wood more than two hours to haul everything he wanted thrown out to the curb outside his home.

From the looks of it, it's possible some of his trash had survived several decades before getting the final heave-ho. He purged his home of a variety of things, including a mattress, two fake Christmas trees, TVs, speakers, VHS tapes, kid's toys and several broom sticks minus the broom. What he couldn't fit in bags, he wrapped in old sheets and blankets. His collection took up about half a block.

"I had more stuff, but people came by last night and took some of it," he said. "I'm glad to see it go."

Hood participated in the annual Fremont Spring Clean-Up Day during which residents are allowed to throw out almost anything for one day only and the town will pick it up free of charge.

Tim Howell, public works director, said they usually get a pretty good response to their bi-annual clean-up day, with about 80 percent of the town responding each time. On Tuesday, the town had three trucks collecting garbage, including its new grapple truck.

"The new truck has been a great help," said Town Administrator Kerry McDuffie. "Not only does it help to keep our workers safer, but it also is a lot faster."

The truck came in handy when one resident tore down a barn and left the remains out for pickup, including wood, shingles, insulation and metal framing. Unfortunately he left the massive pile under a powerline.

"That's one of our biggest problems," Howell said. "People leaving stuff under powerlines."

The lines made it tough, but not impossible, for public works employees to maneuver around with the large arm of the grapple truck. The barn's remains ended up filling all three garbage trucks.

Jeff Barnes, who describes himself as "head honcho," is actually a part-time worker for the town and a full-time pastor. He was helping with the clean-up for the day and said a lot of people in town have started taking advantage of it.

"People come out the day before and find a lot of things in other people's trash they can fix up and use," he said. "One person got an ice maker that only cost $7 to fix."

Resident Felecia Cooper agreed.

"People filled up the whole block, they were getting things left and right," she said. "To me it looked like junk, so I don't know what they were going to do with it."

She didn't have trash for this year's clean-up, but said last year she had about six tires that needed to be hauled away.

"It's a good thing," she said. "If they weren't picking it up, it would cost us."