By Cheril Vernon
Messenger Copy Editor

GRAPELAND – Do you have furniture, tires, old appliances, computer monitors or other bulk items that you would like to get rid of, but don’t have a place to take them?

Thanks to a recently-received Solid Waste Grant from the Deep East Texas Council of Governments, the City of Grapeland will hold a Community Clean-up event for bulk items on the first two Saturdays in August.

“This is not just your normal trash pick-up. It’s old bed springs, furniture, scrap metal, old refrigerators, stoves, commodes – things you can’t get rid of,” Grapeland Mayor Balis Dailey said during a Community Clean-up organizational meeting held last week. “This is a wonderful event, good for our community.”

The dates for the Community Clean-up are Saturday, Aug. 5  and Saturday, Aug. 12 from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Grapeland City Park located on the U.S. 287 Bypass.

Waste Connections, which provides trash pick-up service for the City of Grapeland, will provide roll-off containers for regular bulk items like lumber, scrap metal, tires and electronics at the park. Volunteers will help unload the items dropped off.

In addition, a crew will drive street-to-street within the Grapeland city limits on both clean-up dates to pick up items on the curb. Bulk items should be placed by the curb by 8 a.m. on either Saturday, Aug. 5 or Saturday, Aug. 12. Those who live outside the city limits will have to bring their bulk items to the City Park.

“Please help your neighbors get ready for this. We are sending mail-outs about the clean-up for anyone who needs assistance getting their items to the curb,” City of Grapeland Building and Standards Chairperson Dianne Hollister said during the organizational meeting. “They can turn the form in to the City.”

Information about the Community Clean-up, which will include a form for assistance, will be mailed out around July 27.

“Please have everything at the curbside, but not in the street and please help the volunteers load the trailers,” Hollister requested.

The plan is to divide the city into four areas, each with a crew to help the neighborhood get items to the trash trucks, trailers or pickup trucks. It will then be taken to the Grapeland City Park to be put into the roll-off bins.

The electronic items and tires will be sent to third-party recycler partners after the clean-up days.

“The City will get a little return on the scrap metal collected,”Dailey said.

The $14,557.34 grant was approved on Wednesday, July 12.

“We would not have got this grant without Todd (Waste Connections’ Palestine Office Site Manager Todd Gibbs), Dianne (Hollister) and the other people who worked on it. They had to work on it really fast due to the deadline,” Dailey said.

The contract for the grant was expected to be initiated this week.

“It must be spent and complete by Aug.31,” Dailey said about the grant.

In order to promote the Clean-Up event, flyers will be placed around the Grapeland area. Local churches will be notified, so their leadership can share the event with their congregations, Hollister said.

A volunteer organizational meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 1 at the Grapeland City Park. Anyone interested in helping on the Clean-Up Event days is asked to attend the meeting.

“Things collect around the house before you know it, and sometimes there is no place you can take it because it’s too costly to go to a landfill or too far away,” Dailey said. “We are really grateful this opportunity came along.”

For more information about the Community Clean-Up Event,  call the City of Grapeland at 936-687-2115.