It’s time to spring into cleaning!

Remember how “Paint the Corridor” lifted the spirits not only of those who now live in freshly painted houses, but also of the folks who live near them, drive by them or even drive through?

We live in a beautiful place and almost all of us have an unfinished project or two, extra stuff and odds and ends that are cluttering up or homes, yards and lives.


There’s great news for those within the city limits of Aberdeen, Hoquiam Cosmopolis, Westport and McCleary! Those municipalities have the budget and the priority to beautify their cities by encouraging people to clean up by providing free days at the dump.

We’re letting you know about them now so that you have plenty of time to go through your stuff and gather into “give away,” “throw away” and “save” piles.


This pile could be the most satisfying chore if you take it to Habitat for Humanity, Salvation Army or The Goodwill first. They convert good used stuff into cash which returns to the community in the form of new affordable homes and helping folks with dire needs. You will feel real good about sharing your too-long-saved stuff with these organizations. For the rest of your piles, here are the schedules and tips.


For those residents of Aberdeen, Hoquiam, Cosmopolis, Westport and McCleary, make sure to mark your calendars. Here is the schedule for Spring Cleanup for you.

• McCleary – From 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 12 at the parking lot behind City Hall.

• Cosmopolis – From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 12 at the LeMay Transfer Station, 4201 Olympic Highway in Central Park, Hoquiam – From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 23 through Saturday, April 26 at the LeMay Transfer Station.

• Aberdeen – In a bold new move by the City Council, Aberdeen is now offering Spring Cleanup throughout the month of May and June! Aberdeen residents can take their junk to the LeMay Transfer Station any day the dump is open during those two months! The hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday; 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and closed on Sunday. A voucher for your one-time free visit will be coming to the mail to you soon from City Hall. Watch for it!

• Westport – In a similar move to Aberdeen, Westport is offering the entire month of May for its residents to take advantage of free dump fees – residents get to choose which day in May to bring their junk into the transfer station. Westport residents must also get a voucher from their City Hall.

For those of you who’ve done this before, you know the drill! Many things are accepted at the dump, but a few aren’t, including car hulks, paints, thinners, raw garbage, pesticides, car batteries, propane tanks, demolition debris, hazardous waste and large tires.

Only people who live in the city limits of the cities listed above are allowed to attend the city-sponsored Cleanups. Call your City Hall for more information and restrictions.


If you live in Aberdeen, Hoquiam, Cosmopolis, Westport or McCleary, it certainly makes sense to take advantage of this Spring Cleanup program! But, actually, for the rest of the folks on the Harbor, it’s also a great time to think about tidying up your place. While the free dump fee is nice, a few bucks to throw away your unwanted things shouldn’t be an obstacle to tidying up your place!


For those unable to take advantage of the free Spring Cleanup Days, the LeMay Transfer Station’s dump rates are $94 a ton plus a 3.6 percent refuse tax. Two thousand pounds is an awful lot of stuff. Frankly, if you have that much stuff at your house, it’ll be worth that to get rid of it! The minimum price for 200 pounds or less is $9.79. That’s less than a couple fancy lattes!

Refrigerators and freezers carry a $31.52 fee a piece in addition to their weight. However, you may be able to recycle them through a used appliance store or at the metal recycler.

Also, it costs an additional $2.62 a tire and $1.58 for a rim, plus the weight of the load to dispose of tires. (Large truck tires will cost $11.03 each.) Again, you may be able to get the metal rims off the old tires and recycle them for free or cash at one of the salvage yards.


Compost what you can first. Leaves, grass clippings and tree branches up to 1/2 inch in diameter are accepted at the dump, but now cost the same $94 a ton fee, with the $9.79 minimum charge. You may want to take yard waste to Stafford Creek on the Westport highway. Our mantra is: “If the yard waste is heavy take it to Stafford Creek landfill – if bulky, but light, take it to LeMay.”


Recycle everything you can to save your Clean-up voucher for the unusable stuff. Your clean, dry newspapers, magazines, cardboard, aluminum cans and recyclable glass are all heavy and should be placed in recycling area bins at the Transfer Station.


Computer monitors, screens and laptops or television sets can be recycled at (the alley side of) Salvation Army. They turn it into cash and return it to the community when people need help.

Otherwise, you can get rid of electronic stuff for free at the Hazardous Waste Facility, too. (However, this service is available only from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesdays.)


Batteries can be recycled at a salvage yard for cash or taken to Hazardous Waste at LeMay’s along with cleaning supplies, old paint, solvents and pesticides for free.

It is open on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on the first Saturday of the month.

The Hazardous Waste Facility also accepts propane tanks for a $5 fee. However, if the shutoff is removed they can be recycled for scrap at no cost.

The limit for paint is 15 gallons per household per visit. (If an old can of paint is all dried up. It can be treated as garbage and thrown away.)

Even though your unusable keyboards, mouse and cords can’t be e-cycled, it’s okay to just throw them in your regular garbage or into your dump load.

Ditto for stereos and speakers, but ask if the Salvation Army wants it first.

Dave Murnen and Pat Beaty are construction specialists at NeighborWorks® of Grays Harbor County, where Murnen is the executive director. This is a non-profit organization committed to creating safe and affordable housing for all residents of Grays Harbor County.

Do you have questions about home repair, renting, remodeling or becoming a homeowner? Call us at 533-7828, write us or visit us at 710 E. Market St. in Aberdeen


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