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Cleaning house

Curbside Cleanup Week offered residents a chance to get rid of old or broken household items

City residents filled their curbs with a little more than just recycling and garbage bins last week, as West Linn Refuse and Recycling made its rounds for the annual “Curbside Cleanup Week.”

During regular collection hours throughout the week, discarded household items, ranging from furniture to refrigerators and barbecues, were piled outside to be collected and potentially recycled farther down the line. The only items that were deemed off-limits for pickup were paint, hazardous waste and food garbage.

“It’s a service we started to provide as an appreciation for our customers,” West Linn Refuse and Recycling General Manager Andy Kahut said. “We try to recycle as much of that material as possible.”

Kahut estimates that around 60 percent to 70 percent of the items picked up turn out to be recyclable. The rest simply goes to a landfill.

The service is meant to help residents clear out old or unneeded items that do not fit in normal trash or recycling bins.

It’s been mostly successful, according to Kahut, save for the occasional scavengers attempting to beat the drivers to the punch and make away with scrap metal.

Throughout the week, three separate police reports detailed this behavior — including the attempted theft of a refrigerator and the successful theft of a barbecue.

Still, Kahut said scavenging is generally less of a problem in West Linn than in other cities.

“It has been a problem in the past,” Kahut said. “But recently I don’t think so.”

Discarded scrap metal is of particular value to Refuse and Recycling, which processes the material itself and sells it off to steel mills to help offset the cost of the Curbside Cleanup program.

Though Kahut has yet to take inventory of all that was collected this time around, the most commonly seen items in the past have included televisions, computer monitors, printers, copiers and fax machines, as well as an array of household appliances.

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