McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

March 27, 2014

PIM's citywide cleanup to start April 5

By Jeanne LeFlore
Staff Writer

McALESTER — Pride in McAlester’s annual Spring Clean up starts April 5.

The clean-up is a part of Keep Oklahoma Beautiful’s “Great American Cleanup™” campaign, according to PIM Executive Director Regina Peoples.

The cleanup will be held weekends from April 5 until April 26 at the former National Guard Armory, 319 E. Polk Ave.

The cleanup encourages citizens to dispose of unwanted items properly, which is important for the environment and overall wellness, according to Peoples.

McAlester residents are encouraged to bring old tires, electronics, refrigerators and other electronic items such as computers along with bulk trash, to the armory and dispose of them of them free of charge.

“We have a lot of people who bring old tires,” Peoples said. “Disposing of tires really helps the environment, one tire can breed up to 25,000 mosquitos and tires can also become a habitat for rodents and snakes.”

She said the proper disposal of electronic items is very important also.

“An old CRT monitor contains mercury which can be dangerous if dumped in a landfill,” she said.

And she said household waste such as anti-freeze and medications that often improperly disposed of, by being flushed down the toilet can enter the ground water systems.

“Those things are very difficult to remove from the water and can cause environmental problems,” Peoples said.

PIM volunteers will be on staff at the Armory Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 3 p.m.

Brush can be disposed of during this time also at the McAlester Landfill.

She said on April 26 household hazardous waste and prescription drugs will also be accepted for disposal along with the other items at the former National Guard Armory parking lot.

Household hazardous waste includes items such as motor fluids, grease, auto batteries, fluorescent bulbs, antifreeze, flammable liquids, batteries, pesticides/herbicides, oil-based and enamel paints, household cleaners, lawn care products, pool chemicals, thermostats/thermometers and old ammunition, according to Peoples.

“Water based and latex paints, lab waste, explosives, mixed chemicals and commercial waste will not will not be accepted during the clean up,” Peoples said.

Pride in McAlester will recycle metals also and money raised during the event will be used to help defer the cost of the cleanup which she said is more than $20,000.

“This event is made possible by the city of McAlester, PIM and the volunteers that donate their time.”

And those willing to volunteer are encouraged to assist with the cleanup, Peoples said. “We will provide everything needed,” she said.

For more information and to volunteer call 918-426-4444 or visit www.prideinmcalester.com.

Contact Jeanne LeFlore at jleflore@mcalesternews.com.