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City-wide clean-up planned
Week-long effort coming in September
city-wide cleanup site
Shown is the Sunflower Diversified Services lot at 5605 10th St. that will be the staging area for the city-wide cleanup which begins Saturday. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

As part of its on-going effort to keep the community clean, Great Bend officials are planning a week-long city-wide cleanup campaign, it was announced at the City Council meeting Monday night.

The effort will run from Saturday, Sept. 24, through Sunday, Oct. 2. Sunflower Diversified Services’ fenced lot at 5605 10th St. will be the staging area with roll-off dumpsters where residents can deposit their trash.

City Administrator Kendal Francis said they are also partnering with Great Bend Economic Development Inc.’s Damn It Do It Day on Sept. 24 as well as with Volunteers in Action of Central Kansas. The idea is to coordinate volunteers to help seniors and others who unable to get their items to the dumpsite on their own. 

The dump area hours have yet to be determined, he said.

“There’s no promise that it has to happen next year, but I think it’s worth giving it a shot,” he said. “We’ll we’ll come back with details on tonnage and the total overall cost and we’ll evaluate.”

The idea came up a couple of months ago at a council meeting, Francis said.

“We had a citizen survey about things they’d like to see in regards to the quality of life,” he said. “Thee number-one vote getting thing was a city-wide clean-up.”

He understood that the council was in favor of the concept, but not in favor of using the newly minted quality of life sales tax to pay for it. “So we started looking at other alternatives” within the city’s budget.

“Now, obviously we don’t have a guaranteed price,” he said. They looked at the cost of dumpster rentals, charges for tipping fees as the Barton County Landfill (which offers the city a discount), tire disposal fees and at what the City of Ellinwood spent on its cleanup.

“I would anticipate our costs are going to be in the $15-20,000 range,” Francis said. He just wanted to make sure the council was comfortable with this.

Tires pose a special challenge, he said. There will be dumpsters set aside for them, which is a requirement since they can’t be mingled with the other items for disposal or recycling.

City staff is prepared to monitor the site after hours. They will also be present on the two weekends, so there may be some overtime pay involved.

Francis said they will have equipment available to help load large items into the dumpsters.

The city does have a partnership with Sunflower to take recyclable items, and a list of these will be posted. And, the city will list what is and isn’t acceptable for dumping at the site. 

“My concern in this whole deal is if we do this one year, everyday expects it every year and they’ll just store their damn trash because they’re too lazy to haul it off themselves,” said Ward 1 Councilman Alan Moeder said. “I think if you are a person who’s going to buy something, you know somewhere along the line, you’re going to have to get rid of it. And you got to be responsible for at that point. I am not in favor of this cleanup.”

“I would say that’s a valid point,” Francis said. It is something Ellinwood does annually and they deal with about the same amount of waste each year.

But, “we’ve kind of made an effort to try to clean up the town and the aesthetics,” Francis said. “I thought this might be a good step in that direction. But it has come at a cost.”

“I did have Kendal crunch these numbers together,” said Mayor Cody Schmidt. “So I am in favor of it.”

With the exception of Moeder, all the other council members present also supported the idea.