“We got a total of 76 mattresses, 59 sofas, 22 recliners, two washers, one dryer and one water heater,” Bridge said.
And to the surprise of the city employees manning the huge, roll-off dumpsters provided by Republic Services, one person even brought in a wrecked, 15-foot fiberglass boat.
Bridge said city employees quickly loaded that contraption up to be hauled off by the Corpus Christi company.
“I was very pleased with the response of the people,” Bridge said.
Several times he said he challenged individuals bringing in discarded items to “now go pick up something from your neighbors.” And before the day ended at 5 p.m., many of those residents actually did return with a trailer or pickup load from a neighbor’s house.
This was the fourth year for the Spring Clean and Bridge said it was consistent with what the city managed to take in during the three previous years.
“Of course, nothing beats the first year,” Bridge said. That spring day the city filled up 14 large containers with refuse and then filled up another eight dumpsters as city employees picked apart a literal “mountain” of debris they had piled up after the containers were filled.
City Code Compliance Official Ronald “Buddy” Hardy called the effort “very successful.”
He said one volunteer, Ralph Sutherland, hauled in more than 20 trailer loads of trash from around the city.
Also, a band of volunteers from the Beeville Volunteer Fire Department showed up to haul in some trash from neighborhoods.
Hardy said he has located a few spots around the city where the items in the piles were too large and too heavy for anyone to get into a trailer or pickup bed.
“I told people don’t hurt your back. We’ll send a city crew out to get that stuff,” Hardy said.
Bridge said the crews stuffed eight containers to the brim and they will probably fill up another eight in the coming days.
Bridge said he owes a lot of the success of Saturday’s effort to several volunteer groups manned by city employees.
He said Albert Vilches and Don Frizzell of the city’s inspection department brought in five trailer loads of discards themselves.
Another team of volunteers from the city’s utility department, including Joe Bernal, John Salazar, Adam Villanueva, Jesse and John Martinez, brought in numerous trailer loads from neighborhoods.
In all, Bridge estimated that the city now has about 263 cubic yards of trash and rubbish that needs to be hauled away to the landfill in Corpus Christi by Republic Services trucks.
“It was just a very, very good, steady day,” Bridge said. Clear skies and pleasant temperatures in the early part of Saturday helped.
Just before 5 p.m., as the city employees working at the yard on South Jackson Street were picking up the signs, the last two loads came in and the crews quickly unloaded them.
Throughout the year the city keeps one of Republic’s large roll-off dumpsters at the yard for residents to use for dumping large, bulky items not picked up by the regular trash collection vehicles.
Residents are allowed to bring in one pickup truck load a month and dump it at the facility without charge if they can provide a stub showing the resident had paid his or her last city utility bill.
But there are no limits on the Spring Clean Saturday. Residents are encouraged not only to bring in their trash but to help their neighbors bring in theirs too.
Hardy said he intends to thank the City Council for providing the funds for the annual cleanup and residents can expect a repeat of the effort again next year.
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.