City-wide Clean Up Day draws nearly 1,500 volunteers
RAPID CITY, S.D. — All week, Rapid City residents have been commemorating Earth Day by taking an active role in keeping the city clean.
If you were out in town over the weekend, you might have seen groups of locals in yellow vests cleaning the streets of Rapid City for Cleanup Day. That included picking up old water bottles, soda cans, and lots of plastic. While it’s not New York City, it took nearly 1,500 volunteers throughout the week to get it all cleaned up.
“It’s not just one day a year, it’s everyday,” said American Postal Worker Union member, David Becker. “We just have to take a little bit of initiative, and just take some pride in where we live. We live in this area. It’s our place to enjoy it and do everything that we can, just to keep the area clean, and our environment clean.”
Local groups, various businesses, and even workers from the Mayor’s Office were involved in the cleaning. Drop off at the landfill was also free for the day, and for those looking to get rid of lightly used items not ready for the landfill, or to find used goods, there was a Trash to Treasure event.
“We always have kids come through looking for a new bike,” said Rapid City Waste Project Manager, Jancie Knight. “Chairs, we’ve had a lot of really great first apartment stuff, like kitchenware, crock-pots. We’ve had some exercise bikes. Just a little bit of everything that really doesn’t belong in the landfill and deserves a new home.”
Although the focus for the clean up day was trash and recyclables, electronics were not be forgotten. EchoWorks, a branch of Black Hills Works, was at the Farmers Market to collect and destroy hard drives, cellphones, and other electronic devices.
“It’s not good for the environment, but also, you have individuals, or folks out there that are trying to get your data off of that,” said EchoWorks Supervisor, Randy Sheppard. “You may have a bank account, or social security numbers, all those types of things, you want to make sure none of that information is getting out there.”
Sheppard says echo works collected over 50,000 pounds of old electronics just this week. If you still have old electronics that need to be destroyed, echo works is located at Western Dakota Tech and open Monday through Friday.