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Annual Spring Cleanup

Southwest Portland’s Annual Spring Cleanup was yesterday. Twice a year the Portland Christian Center kindly offers its parking lot as a place where the community can take its “bulky waste, yard debris, and scrap metal items for recycling.” Sitting in my garage were some old office floor mats, three miscellaneous golf clubs, an old camping cooler, a lawn mower that had not been used in a while, and some spider nests wood scraps. None of these things fit into our small trash can, so we loaded them into the car and headed for the cleanup site on SW Dosch Road.When we arrived there was a line of cars ahead of us.This person towed a handy trailer, which would also serve to keep any bugs away from the passengers, come to think of it. In our little station wagon, the wood scraps – along with any tag-along spiders – were right there in our back seat, a bit too close for comfort.So much stuff!The site was swarming with volunteers – so many that there was a volunteer check-in table:This woman’s job was to direct traffic:When this car drove up, I had to take a picture of it. Gorgeous!Some volunteers looked like they were doing community service work:Our first stop was next to this truck from Community Warehouse. This organization “collects and redistributes household goods to low-income families” according to Tom Elston, Program Manager:Community Warehouse is a 501(c)3 nonprofit. We donated the lawn mower seen above and Tom gave us a receipt for our tax records. Here is their info:Anfield and Sons greeted cars and collected scrap metal to recycle.It seemed to be a family business.Then, things neither reusable nor recyclable went into the trash. Volunteers helped everyone unload their cars.The people who brought this old bouncy rocking horse said they were sad to say good-bye to it, but it was broken and nothing more could be done.There were tremendous amounts of junk here.Would a homeless person or a poor family in an undeveloped county consider this to be trash? Do middle class Americans consume too much stuff? Watching all these motor vehicles drive in to fill drop box after drop box with debris made me long for a tiny house located within walking distance of a grocery store, a school, a theater, a naturopath, and a place to meditate/worship. Don’t want much, do I?

Here Garry is contributing to the effort:Coincidentally, my friend and neighbor Scott was there to drop off some things:I enjoyed seeing my co-worker Joe working there, especially because he remembered to bring his sense of humor:The Annual Spring Cleanup was sponsored by Metro and by Southwest Neighborhoods, Inc., whose amazing and talented Executive Director, Sylvia Bogert, rolled up her sleeves to help out yesterday.This is always a well-organized event and it provides a tremendous service to residents of Southwest Portland. The Annual Fall Cleanup is November 10th. Save the date.

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