McGregor and Marquette plan spring clean-up days

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Citing abuse, Monona opts not to hold garbage amnesty days

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

The cities of Marquette and McGregor have scheduled spring clean-up dates for later this month, giving residents the opportunity to throw out some items they can’t usually set at the curb.

Marquette will hold its event Saturday, April 28, from 8 to 11 a.m., at roundhouse park (the former rail yard). Residents are welcome to bring excess refuse and place it inside dumpsters. Items that will not be accepted include leaves, grass, brush, dead animals, liquids, paint, batteries, chemicals, oil, hazardous waste and tires. No electronics—including TVs—will be accepted.

Residents are reminded that there will be no general curb-side pick-up. Items left on the curb and not scheduled will not be picked up. Residents with disabilities and/or special needs must contact the street department directly at (563) 873-3306 to schedule special pick-up.

Any additional questions relating to the spring clean-up can also be directed to the street department.

McGregor’s spring clean-up will be held on Monday, April 30. Items must be curbside by 6:30 a.m. Metal items (including appliances), as well as non-metal items (including furniture), will be accepted. Please separate metal and non-metal items and box, bag or bundle any loose items. No tires, construction material, batteries, paint cans or electronic equipment will be picked up.

Yard waste will be picked up the last Monday of every month. Please bag, box or bundle material in four-foot lengths.

Contact the city of McGregor at (563) 873-3795 with any questions.

The city of Monona, meanwhile, won’t offer garbage amnesty days to its residents this spring. The council chose not to continue the service, citing abuse from people living outside Monona who dropped off items at homes in the community.

“There were eyewitness accounts of out-of-city people bringing and putting [items] in yards,” said mayor Lynn Martinson. He added that, in previous years, city workers spent as many as 15 or 20 minutes collecting materials from some individual homes.

Councilman Dan Havlicek said he’s helped city workers with garbage amnesty days in the past. He recalled seeing a lot of construction material.

“If you’ve got that amount of stuff, you need a dumpster,” he said. “It’s too bad people were abusing, because they ruined it for everybody.”

Martinson said the cost of collecting all that extra material falls back on the city, which pays thousands of dollars of tipping fees at the landfill. Eventually, that cost will fall back on the citizens.

“It’s quite an expense,” noted city administrator Dan Canton. “As costs increase, sooner or later that would be reflected in bills.”

Martinson reminds citizens of the services already available to them. For example, items like recliners or mattresses can be placed at the curb on regular collection days for an extra cost, he said. 

Councilman Doug Bachman added that Alliant Energy offers appliance recycling for working refrigerators, freezers and room air conditioners. More details can be found on Alliant Energy’s website.

Residents will receive one perk this spring, however. Although the council decided not to hold the garbage amnesty days, they agreed to offer television and computer monitor collection for residents on Wednesday, May 9. For a small fee, residents can drop off TVs and computer monitors at the community center parking lot from 3 to 6 p.m. that day.

Contact the city of Monona at (563) 539-2355 with any questions.

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