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A good spring cleaning never goes out of style


When you get older one of the things you never think of much is if younger people understand what you are talking about. You tend to use expressions that were popular back in the day with no thought about whether anyone besides your generation uses them anymore. You just throw them out there and then look surprised when you don’t get the reaction you were looking for. Sometimes words and expressions from a particular era become completely ingrained in our language, but others fade into disuse. The problem is, unless you are constantly around younger people, you may not realize what’s in and what’s out.

I got to thinking about that as I was about to type a clever opening line for this column today. I was going to start it of by saying “It’s time for you to start cleaning up your act.” That was something we used to hear from our parents and teachers, usually followed by “young man/lady.” Then I wondered if anyone uses that expression anymore because I haven’t really heard it for years.

Since I was a kid, actually. Oh well, time to just throw caution to the wind. Here goes…

It’s time for you to clean up your act! I’m giving you fair warning once again because this week long Golden event used to catch me by surprise every year and I’d be frantically trying to get my “act” together in time to take advantage of it with about an 80 percent failure rate.

What I’m talking about are the Spring Yard Waste Collection Week and Community Pride Days. This is when you can get rid of all the debris and junk you have collected for the last six months for free. But that also means you need to get that stuff raked up, sorted out and ready for disposal by the designated week, so get out the rakes and secure a pickup truck or something so you can have it all set to go.

First off, let’s talk about the Spring Yard Waste Collection Week. That’s going to be happening from May 14 through 18. This is for those of us who subscribe to the City of Golden’s trash service provided by Alpine Waste. That means most of us. Usually we have to pay extra to have bags of yard debris picked up, but during that week, they will have extra trucks out just to pick this stuff up for free.

Just set it out curbside next to your regular trash cans and you can use either reusable containers, like those trash cans you used to use before the City provided you with the ones you use now, or in compostable bags that you can get at any home improvement store. Let me emphasize this. Compostable bags, not just any plastic trash bags. They are usually heavy duty paper bags. Read the label on the box.

You can also put out reasonable sized bundles of tree branches cut down to 4 ft. length. They also have to be less than 4 inches in diameter, big tree stumps and boughs need to be cut up to fit that criteria.

You can set out as many as 21 bags, bundles or cans, but they can only contain organic yard waste like grass clippings, pine needles, leaves, weeds, branches, sawdust or ground and chipped wood.

Basically plant material, OK? That means that you also need to tie up any bundles with natural fiber sting, yarn or rope like cotton or sisal. There are several restrictions and guidelines to follow, so check them all out at www.cityofgolden.net/city-services/yard-waste-collection.

Now, on the following weekend, May 19 and 20 from 8 a.m.- 3 p.m. you can get rid of all the rest of that junk you have cluttering up your life. That’s when Community Pride Days are scheduled. This is where the truck might come in handy. If you are a resident of the City of Golden (yes, they check your driver’s license at the gate), you can bring almost everything else you want to dispose of to the north side of town at 1300 Catamount Drive. They take electronic waste, mattresses and box springs, metal recycling, car tires, tree brush and debris, yard waste and lumber, and up to four boxed of paper to shred. What they don’t take are propane tanks, batteries, pharmaceuticals, hazardous waste, fluorescent lights, appliances and paint.

For complete information go to www.cityofgolden.net/city-services/community-pride-days.

John Akal is a well-known jazz artist/drummer and leader of the 20-piece Ultraphonic Jazz Orchestra. He also is president of John Akal Imaging, professional commercial photography and multi-media production. He can be reached at jaimaging@aol.com


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