Village’s Annual Spring Cleanup Begins to Help Declutter

Photo Courtesy of Her Sodergren

As the weather gets warmer and the flowers start to bud, residents of the Village of New Paltz gear up for the annual spring cleanup. From April 8 – 19, this community-wide initiative offers taxpayers the opportunity to declutter their homes and yards by offering a pickup service for the unused, aged and no longer needed items alike. 

Organized by the Department of Public Works, the spring cleanup means taxpayers of New Paltz put their household items, as well as yard scraps, on the curb for pickup and disposal. Residents north of Main Street will have pickup from April 8-12 while those south of Main Street have pickup from April 15-19.

Heather Neilson of the Department of Public Works spoke on the intricacies of the cleanup process, stating that “The picked up items go to the town landfill out on Clearwater Road, but it’s a little more complicated as we use different trucks for different items.” The range of collected items includes brush, wood, tires, batteries, small appliances, metal, furniture and mattresses. There is a limit of no more than four tires per household, and no more than two mattresses per household. The amount of items collected varies by year. 

There are some restrictions on what the village will take. According to spring cleanup Notice, “any closed paint cans, tar buckets, closed metal or plastic containers containing any liquids, electronics or any household trash/garbage” will not be picked up. This is part of the village’s effort to ensure the waste does not become contaminated by certain materials. 

Despite these limitations, the Village ensures responsible disposal by directing tires to a business that will take them, metal goes to a scrap yard and biodegradable bags of yard waste go to the Gardens of Nutrition to turn into compost. Proper disposal of waste in a small town is paramount. Improperly disposed waste can contaminate water sources and disrupt ecosystems, which are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of irresponsible waste management. By giving access to and implementing efficient waste management systems, communities can help preserve the environment and mitigate ecological footprints. 

As seen in the past, safe and proper disposal of waste in New Paltz and the Hudson Valley area at-large is critical. The Hudson River estuary has long been subject to pollution. Recent efforts to avoid such damage includes education, implementation and normalizing more effective disposal efforts.

This long-standing service has been a staple in the village for many years. “I’ve been working for the village for 24 years, and it’s been at least that long,” said Nielson. The annual spring cleanup stands as a testament to the village’s commitment to helping its residents have access to services that will benefit them and their homes, showing community care by enhancing the quality of life in the Village, from living rooms to compost gardens.