Kendallville cleanup

A pile of items including couches, mattresses and children’s items sits on the curb outside a residence on North State Street on Monday afternoon. Kendallville is hosting two curbside cleanup days, for Mitchell Street and north on Saturday and for the south side below Mitchell Street on June 22.

KENDALLVILLE — For the first time in years, Kendallville residents will have an opportunity for someone to come and pick up large, bulky or just otherwise unwanted items at their curb.

For the next two weekends, Kendallville is hosting Citywide Curbside Cleanup Days, which will allow residents to get rid of junk that’s been accumulating in their house — or more often in their yards, on porches or in back alleys.

On Saturday, haulers will pick up at any properties north of Mitchell Street, including Mitchell Street. Next Saturday, June 22, haulers will pick up at any residences south of Mitchell Street.

It’s been so long since the last time Kendallville offered curbside cleanup that Mayor Suzanne Handshoe can’t remember the last time it happened. It was sometime before the Great Recession led to a string of foreclosures and high unemployment, factors that forced local governments to really clamp down on spending as tax revenue took a hit.

“I can’t even remember the year. Because of the expense, since 2009 we’ve really had to watch our funds,” Handshoe said.

The mayor couldn’t say exactly how much the cleanup is going to cost the city since it will depend on the tonnage haulers truck away, but estimated it could be $4,000-$5,000. But if the cleanup helps to improve the look of neighborhoods around town, Handshoe said she thinks it will be money well-spent.

Materials need to be set out before 6 a.m. on pickup day, so residents are encouraged to put their items out the night before. For items to be picked up, they need to be at the curb. Haulers will not come onto people’s properties to take items.

Haulers won’t pick up any items or boxes that weigh more than 100 pounds. The cleanup program only applies to single-family residences and small rentals. Haulers will not collect from apartments with four or more units and/or businesses and industries.

The mayor stressed that this is a one-pass event. Haulers will only collect on the north side on Saturday and only collect on the south side on June 22. There will be no second chances.

“Once they’ve been through your neighborhood, they’re not coming back,” Handshoe said.

The city recently announced a new push to battle against neighborhood blight, with initiatives aimed at trying to fix up at-risk properties, but also to empower residents to take better care of their own properties.

The citywide cleanup is one aspect of that, while Kendallville continues to research and develop a blueprint to eventually bid out citywide trash service to a hauler. One problem identified by city officials is that the properties that are most often cited for trash and debris problems are properties that don’t have any kind of trash contract and residents either accumulate, burn or illegally dump garbage.

Handshoe said the city code enforcement department has been driving around issuing lots of citations for trash and debris violations, so the citywide cleanup will give people a chance to get rid of junk.

After the cleanup days, the city will be writing tickets.

“The warnings will stop and you’ll get a citation,” Handshoe said.

The mayor is asking people to spread the word so everyone in town knows about the cleanup event. She encouraged people to mention the program to neighbors and offer to help haul items to the curb if their neighbors are not capable of carrying items themselves due to age or disability.

“If you know you have an elderly neighbor that just can’t get that stuff out to the curb, offer to help,” Handshoe said. “We’re just trying to get rid of all this stuff. Remind your neighbors this is coming up.”

Like all disposal events, the Kendallville curbside cleanup does have some rules and restrictions. Here’s some information about what you can and cannot have picked up during the cleanup days:

Items that will be taken

Appliances: No charge for appliances without freon such as water heaters, microwaves, washers, dryers, stoves, etc. A $70 fee will be assessed for items with freon such as air conditions, freezers and refrigerators. Those items must be tagged ahead of time. Tags can be paid for and picked up at City Hall.

Carpets: Carpets should be rolled up and tied with twine. Rolls must be less than 5 feet long and less than 1 foot in diameter.

General debris/building materials: Pile size is limited to what fits in one standard-size pickup truck. Larger piles will not be collected. Lumber must be stacked and boxed or bundled and no longer than 4 feet. Remove or bend down any nails in wood. Roofing materials will be taken in small, manageable amounts. No household waste, plastic bags, railroad ties, chemically-treated lumber, paint, solvents, chemicals or hazardous waste will be collected.

Large items: “Large” is defined as too big to fit in the trunk of a car, such as swing sets, barbecue grills, bicycles, treadmills, lawn mowers, snow blowers, etc. Items should be broken down as much as possible to ensure haulers can take it away. Motorized items must be drained of all gas, oil and fluids before being collected. Tires should be removed from any wheeled items.

Mattresses and box springs: Mattresses and box springs will be accepted and hauled away.

Plumbing fixtures: Tubs, sinks and toilets will be taken. Make sure to drain items before disposal.

Tires: Tires will be taken for a fee and must be tagged for pickup. Fees are $10 for 16-inch and smaller tires without rims; $15 for 16-inch and smaller tires with rims; $15 for 17-inch and larger tires without rims; $20 for 17-inch and larger tires with rims; and $20 for tractor tires. Tags can be purchased and picked up at City Hall.

Furniture: Chairs, couches, sofas, tables, etc. will be accepted. Hide-away sofas should be disassembled or tied down so they do not open when handled by haulers.

Items that will not be taken

Items that will not be picked up by haulers include: Any and all batteries; brush, yard waste, organic materials and household trash; construction items from businesses or contractors; electronics including TVs, computers, printers, stereos, cell phones, monitors, etc.; exceptionally heavy or bulky items such as pianos; hazardous waste including paints, motor oils, solvents, fluorescent tubes and bulbs, propane tanks and household chemicals; recyclable materials such as newspapers, paper items, cardboard, cans, glass or plastic containers; small scrap items, with “small” being defined as being able to fit in a car trunk.

How to dispose of unaccepted items

The Northeast Indiana Solid Waste Management district will accept the following materials at its facility at 2320 W. C.R. 800S, Ashley, with a fee for disposal: electronics, gas appliances, hazardous waste, non-refillable propane cylinders and batteries.

The Kendallville Recycling and Compost Convenience Center on Wayne Street will accept the following items free during business hours on Tuesday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays from noon to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Recyclable materials and brush, yard waste and organic materials.

Kendallville Iron and Metal, 243 Lisbon Road, will accept the following items during business hours: roofing shingles (no asbestos) with a fee for disposal and small scrap metal items.

Eshelman Sand and Gravel, 5999 U.S. 6, will dispose of concrete and bricks, with a fee for disposal.

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