SAFFORD – Time to get rid of that ancient freezer in the garage and the old, broken swing on the back porch because, for the next two weeks, the city of Safford will pick up those and other bulk items for residents at no charge.
Safford Utilities Director Jenny Howard said this bulk pickup is just a way to thank the residents for embracing the city’s recycling program, which is extending the life of the landfill.
“The recycling is really helping,” Howard said. “I think we’re up to about 18 percent of Safford’s trash is recycled.”
To have bulk items removed, residents must simply drag them to the curb. Any item that is accepted at the Safford Regional Landfill, including appliances, will be picked up. Residents who have their refuse picked up on Mondays should have their bulk trash at the curb by Monday, Oct. 3. The bulk items will be picked up that week. Residents who have their refuse picked up on Tuesdays should have their bulk items placed at the curb by Monday, Oct. 10, and those items will be picked up during that week.
“They really need to get it out on Monday, so we can go by and pick it up because we don’t want to have to keep going back and forth,” Howard said. “We want to try and sweep it. We’ll have front-end loaders, dump trucks (and) people power (but) we just don’t know how big it’s going to be.”
The city normally offers a free bulk pickup once a week for residents – mostly for tree trimmings and that sort of thing – but it is limited to four cubic yards or less and not all landfill-accepted items are included. Additionally, the city is picking up the bulk items to help alleviate an anticipated increase of users to the landfill during the free dump week of Oct. 15-22, which is open to all county residents. This year, however, users will be allowed only one free load.
The city will also have tow truck companies pick up old vehicles during the bulk pickup, however, the deadline to sign up to have a vehicle has since passed.
Safford Police Chief Joe Brugman views the bulk pickup as a great way to help clean up neighborhoods and revitalize the community.
“There’s no doubt about it – on the police side – the nicer the neighborhood looks, the lower the crime typically is,” Brugman said. “So we see a number of different advantages and a sense of community.”
The city recently gathered several fliers and stapled them on to each resident’s trash can. The fliers in the stapled bag include information on the city’s automatic read meters, library operation, next year’s sanitation calendar and the bulk pickup.
“There’s a lot of information in there that people really need to look at when they see that bag hanging on their trash can,” Howard said.
While hazardous waste cannot be picked up during the bulk pickup or free dump week, the city will have a hazardous waste pickup in April of next year.