It’s spring. The snow has melted. It’s windy. And that means it’s time for a spring cleanup for our personal property and our community as a whole.
If you’re a homeowner like me, we have a personal responsibility to maintain our own property. After a typical North Dakota winter, we all likely have debris that has blown into our yards. Sure, it’s easy to let the plastic bag or paper that has settled onto our property sit there until the next windy day takes it away and it becomes someone else’s problem. But that’s certainly not the neighborly thing to do, and it certainly doesn’t help solve the immediate problem. It’s just kicking the bag down the road, so to speak. As members of a community, we have a duty to do our part to maintain a clean community, and that starts at home.
Business owners also have a greater responsibility to maintain their property, and to clean up all debris that has blown from their property onto someone else’s property. For large retail businesses, this isn’t always an easy task. Paper and plastic products that get blown around can travel a long way before latching onto a tree, a fence, or some other structure. Do the best you can. Take a walk around your property and safely clean up whatever debris you find. Sure, you’ll find stuff that didn’t come from your business, but so will the next business, and the next one, and so on. Clean up what’s on your property, and if you know debris from your business has blown away and settled on a nearby fence or structure, clean that up, too. It’s simply the right thing to do on a personal and a community level.
Public entities like the City of Minot, Ward County, Minot Public School District, and the Minot Park District also bear responsibility for making sure their properties are maintained. All of these organizations have multiple properties, spread out across the city and the county. It takes time and effort to accomplish the goal of having clean properties, and it’s an ongoing task for all of these entities. But we must lead by example. At the City of Minot, we remain committed to keeping our growing list of properties clean and well-maintained. We cannot expect the residents of our community to keep their neighborhood clean if we don’t exhibit the same level of commitment. Will all City property look perfect all the time? No. That’s unrealistic, given the size of our staff and the sheer number of properties we own. But we’ll keep working on it.
At the City, one of our focuses is the City of Minot landfill. When strong North Dakota winds blow (which seems like every day lately), they can carry light debris away from the landfill. Plastic bags are a major part of the problem, and many of the bags settle on nearby fields and tree lines surrounding the landfill. City crews will be working to clean up those areas, but we’re also holding a cleanup event on April 15 and we welcome any volunteers. If you’re interested in helping, you can join me as we gather near the water tower on 30th Street SW at 10 a.m. that day. Dress appropriately for the weather, as you will probably get dirty. Community partners have stepped forward to provide water and the necessary garbage bags, and many have pledged to send volunteers, too. If you want more details, call Anna at the City Manager’s office at 857-4750 or contact her at email@example.com.
What we do at home can help make a difference at the landfill, too. There are several businesses that accept plastic bags to be recycled, including many major retail stores in Minot that have drop-off containers. If you do throw the plastic bags into the trash, please make sure the bag containing all of your trash is securely tied shut or tied in a knot when you put it into your collection cart. That way, the plastic bags won’t be loose and there’s less chance they’ll blow around when they’re deposited at the landfill.
The City is in the process of creating a curbside recycling program, which will give City sanitation customers another method of recycling not only plastic bags but other recyclable materials as well. But it will likely be at least a year until a final plan is designed and the recycling facility is built and operational. In the meantime, we can continue to make a difference if everyone simply does their part.
The Minot Area Chamber EDC has scheduled its annual citywide cleanup on May 6 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and May 7 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the various entrances to the city. Anyone interested in joining can find more information at minotchamberedc.com or by calling the Chamber at 701-852-6000.
This is our community, and we all play a role in keeping it clean and presenting a good image to visitors. Let’s all do our part.
Sincerely, City Hall
You can find more about what’s happening at the City of Minot at minotnd.org, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. We’d also encourage you to sign up for our monthly electronic newsletter on our website.