If people driving through town saw an unusual amount of old furniture, broken chairs, and rusted appliances on the side of the road last week, there was a reasonable explanation.
The City of Hettinger organized their first citywide cleanup day last week, giving Hettinger residents a chance to get rid of their unwanted junk at no cost to the resident. While the City has hosted similar cleanup events in the past, this was the first time county employees traveled around town to pick up unwanted garbage left on the side of the street.
According to City Council Member James Lindquist, the City organized the cleanup day to benefit Hettinger residents and especially the elderly. Linquist said that the original idea for a citywide clean up originated from local resident Allen Mcintyre. For the last few years, Mcintyre has regularly approached the City and asked the local council to support people who either don’t have the physical or financial means to get rid of their heavier trash.
“A lot of other towns slightly bigger than Hettinger do these types of cleanup initiatives,” said Lindquist.
Although the City organized the citywide cleanup, it was a group of four county employees who physically hauled the garbage. In total, 54 people signed up for the cleanup services. The cleanup effort, which was only supposed take one day, lasted over a day and a half due to the large volume of garbage.
“They picked up various items like trees, old furniture, and even a drier and washer set,” said Lindquist. “They had some pretty heavy lifting out there, but there were people thanking the county employees while they were picking up the items.”
The total cost of the cleanup initiative is still being totaled, however Lindquist said that the rough estimate totaled roughly $1,500 before labor costs were totaled.
Despite the cost, Lindquist said that the cleanup service ultimately benefitted a large portion of the Hettinger population and the city as a whole. He said it’s very possible the city will sponsor a similar event next year based on the decision the local city council makes next year.
“We will still have to see the full results on how much the day cost,” he said. “But we had such a positive experience with the citywide clean up day – I wouldn’t see why we wouldn’t continue this initiative.”
Lindquist continued, “For the Beauty of Hettinger, the organization that Al is apart of, is dedicated to making the town look better, and it’s similar to what the Hettinger Chamber and Helping Hettinger Day are working towards, so why wouldn’t the City take part in that effort?”