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'Cleanup Day' Saturday in Juneau

Sica: Tradition dates back to 1916

Posted: May 8, 2013 - 5:40pm  |  Updated: May 9, 2013 - 12:08am

A local nonprofit organization is inviting Juneau residents to volunteer Saturday for “Cleanup Day,” an annual event in which participants pick up trash around town.

Litter Free Inc. is putting on the event as part of its efforts to raise awareness about garbage and littering in Juneau and keep the city and borough clean.

“Litter Free has been a nonprofit since 1985, but I looked in the city minutes and it appears that there’s been a cleanup organized through the city since 1916,” said Litter Free board President Laurie Sica, who is also Juneau’s municipal clerk. “So we consider this our 97th cleanup here in Juneau, and I think that’s pretty impressive.”

Sica added, “We do see less litter each year. People become more aware, and the town is a lot cleaner because of it, I think.”

A number of sign-up stations where volunteers can registered and pick up their trash bags will be located around town from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Saturday.

Among the sign-up station locations are Capital City Fire/Rescue’s Douglas and Lynn Canal stations; the Foodland parking lot in the Willoughby District; Duck Creek Market, Lyle’s and Jensen’s Home Furnishings, and Super Bear Supermarket in the Mendenhall Valley; the University of Alaska Southeast Bookstore in Auke Bay; and Western Auto Marine in Lemon Creek.

Once people have their trash bags — Sica also recommends bringing gloves — they can begin picking up.

“We don’t assign areas,” said Sica. “People can go to any public area that needs cleaning and clean it up.”

Another group of volunteers has been organized to drive around town and load up their trucks with the trash bags after they have been filled, at about 2 p.m., according to Sica.

“We hope that people will get their bags filled with trash and put them out on a main roadway, where they’re easily seen and a truck can pick them up,” Sica said.

Volunteers will also be treated to a picnic, which is being sponsored by Juneau Watershed Partnership, at Duck Creek Market starting at noon.

Participants should plan for a bit of drizzle, if the current forecast for Saturday holds true.

By Saturday, the sunny weather of this week will give way to clouds and rain, meteorologist Jim Truitt said Wednesday.

“Unfortunately, what you have taking place is a deterioration that’s going to be beginning,” said Truitt, who works at the National Weather Service’s Juneau Forecast Office. He added, “You’re going from a dry time Friday night to categorical rain Saturday night.”

Truitt said Saturday will probably be cloudy with “a chance of rain” in the morning and precipitation increasing throughout the day.

“The quantities to begin with won’t be much,” Truitt said.

Sica said that historically, Cleanup Day has gone ahead “rain or shine.”

The high temperature in Saturday’s forecast is about 60 degrees Fahrenheit, although temperatures will likely be cooler early in the day.

Contact reporter Mark D. Miller at 523-2279 or at mark.d.miller@juneauempire.com.

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