Dillingham ready for community clean up

May 4, 2017

Dillingham's community clean up takes place this weekend. Yellow trash bags are available around town and a special sharps container will be at the Dillingham Police Station for medical waste. 

Dillingham elementary students get an early start on community clean up.
Credit KDLG/Lawrence Hamilton

With this year's snowfall rapidly disappearing, it's time for some spring cleaning around Dillingham. 

"We're really proud of our community," Dillingham Mayor Alice Ruby said. "It is a good time to get out and about and clean up all the roads and public areas."

Area residents might feel some concern about what to do when coming across syringes or other medical waste. The city doesn't have specific guidelines, but the state of Alaska does. 

Those guidelines, put out by the Department of Health and Social Services, recommend wearing gloves when handling syringes or using tools like pliers and tongs. A person should never break the needle or try to recap it. 

Citizens can also make their own sharps containers.

"You can use a shampoo bottle or a milk jug," said Ramona Specking, an organizer with city clean up in Anchorage. "Put the syringe in and put duct tape over the opening."

After putting the waste in the container, it should be clearly labeled. 

Chief of Police Dan Pasquariello said anyone who comes across syringes or medical waste over the weekend can dispose of it at a sharps container that will be set up in the Dillingham Police Station lobby. This also includes any homemade sharps containers. 

Yellow Alaska trash bags are available at the DMV, city hall, and library. There will be no free landfill days in conjunction with this year's community clean up.

Reach the author at lawrence@kdlg.org or 907.842.5281.