Fairmont ready to clean up its act

FAIRMONT – Stickers were mailed out to Fairmont public utility customers recently – two for electronics, two for appliances and one for tires – for the curbside cleanup scheduled May 12-23.

The event is an opportunity for Fairmont residents to get rid of bulky household items, such as couches, construction debris and scrap iron, as well as a limited number of appliances and electronics. Household garbage will not be collected. Items must be on the curb before 7 a.m. May 12, but no earlier than May 10. Tires will not be picked up at this time.

If you’re tempted to buy extra stickers to get rid of additional electronics and appliances – and there are people trying to sell stickers and make a profit off the system – hold off just yet. No more than the allotted amount per household will be picked up in each yard, regardless of how many stickers you have.

“There is a rumor going around that the stickers are for sale on Craigslist,” said Troy Nemmers, Fairmont’s public works director.

After the last citywide cleanup in 2006, precautions are being taken to hinder people taking advantage of the program. In 2006, the costs to the city were increased by people from outside city limits hauling their junk into Fairmont and dropping it on curbsides.

How much the cleanup will cost isn’t known yet. The bill for the last one was $75,000, but if the city’s sticker system works and people follow the rules, there should be fewer appliances, electronics, etc., to pick up than in 2006.

Billeye Rabbe, solid waste director for Martin County, reported there were 1,590 appliances, 2,068 electronics and 288.25 tons of other material collected in 2006.

There were also 50.62 tons of tires picked up in 2006. Tires will not be collected during the cleanup, but Fairmont utilities customers can use their tire sticker to dispose of a set of four rimless tires, 22 inches or smaller, at the Martin County Clean Up Day. It runs 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 10 at the Martin County Highway Department, 1200 Marcus St.

“More tires are welcome at the collection, but they will be charged at our usual rate of $3 for care tires, $10 for semi tires and racing tires, and $40 for a tractor tire,” Rabbe said.

Other items also can be dropped off at the Martin County Clean Up Day, but there is a cost of $15 for appliances, electronics and furniture. There is no fee for household hazardous items.

According to Officer Dustin Schwebke of the Fairmont Police Department, anyone caught dumping items on another person’s property can be charged with a petty misdemeanor for breaking state law, or a misdemeanor for violating city ordinance.

Fairmont Public Utilities customers are really the ones paying for the cleanup. The funds are coming from a monthly fee of $1.25 paid by utilities customers, which adds up to $15 per year. The fee also pays for the city’s tree dump and compost site for yard waste.

“Residents are definitely getting their value for $15 a year,” Nemmers said.

City crews will pick up the furniture, demo debris, etc., and Green Tech Recycling of Mankato will collect and recycle the appliances and electronics.

For the safety of crews, the city asks that appliances be emptied and left intact. Any items placed on the curbside that are considered hazardous or present a safety concern to collection workers will not be picked up. Anyone who leaves items on the curb after May 23 will be subject to citation.

For more information about Fairmont Curbside Cleanup or Martin County Clean Up Day, contact Prairieland Solid Waste Management in Truman at (507) 776-3232.