GOSHEN — Free is a pretty good price.
Goshen residents won’t need to pay anything to get rid of large trash at the Street Department next week.
The city’s long-running program to dispose of large items at no cost to residents is happening along with the Goshen Chamber of Commerce’s “Beautify Goshen” Week from Saturday, May 4, through Saturday, May 11. Due to reporter error, The Elkhart Truth previously published that the Street Department would be picking up large trash items. Instead, all trash should be dropped off at the Street Department, 475 Steury Ave. The Street Department will not be doing any pickups.
Street commissioner Denny Long said two large dumpsters full of trash were collected every day during this event last year. Popular items dumped include refrigerators, dehumidifiers, and other appliances. Appliances can be dropped off with Freon still inside — saving residents about $100 they would have to pay to remove the Freon otherwise.
“That’s probably the best deal you are going to find in this whole (program),” said Long. “That and the tires — we take those for free as well.”
Long said that a semitrailer full of tires was collected last year.
The city of Goshen spent just under $3,000 getting rid of trash that was brought in during last year’s event, according to numbers provided by the Street Department. The general waste collected last year cost about $1,300. About 48 tons of tires collected cost $1,185, and the 156 televisions collected cost $468. The program is paid for by Goshen residents’ tax dollars and only Goshen residents are permitted to drop off trash.
Long said that rule is highly enforced.
“We check every person’s driver’s license when they come in the gate,” said Long.
There’s no limit to how much trash a resident can bring, added Long.
“We had a guy come in and bring a trailer load of trash, go back and get another trailer load of trash
and then go back and get another load of trash,” said Long.
Long said he pays some employees overtime during the week to handle all of the drop-offs.
Goshen Mayor Allan Kauffman said he views the program as spring cleaning for the city.
“We want to come into the summer with a better looking community than what we had when the snow melted,” said Kauffman. “Part of our comprehensive plan is having safe, clean neighborhoods. We call them neighborhoods of choice — where people choose to live.”
Kauffman added that he would like to see more landlords hold tenants responsible for keeping yards looking nice.
“Most renters are responsible people and clean up their yard, but some are not,” said Kauffman. “We ask the landlords to look at the house and ask if they would want to live next door to it.”
Two Goshen companies are providing free or reduced fees to the city for these disposal services during the week. OmniSource Goshen is disposing of “white goods” like appliances at no charge and Goodwill Industries of Michiana is disposing of certain electronics at a reduced rate.
Jo Lung, assistant to the mayor, said she thinks local people wait all year for the free trash disposal event.
“Almost everything people would take to (the event) they would have to pay to get rid of otherwise,” said Lung. “People know its coming. There are a lot of people
who are just waiting for the appropriate time to dispose of things.”
Items accepted at the Street Department starting Saturday include non-hazardous refuse such as furniture, carpeting, lumber, dry wall, metal and vinyl siding, windows, fiberglass insulation, mattresses, stoves, landscape timbers and bricks; white goods such as refrigerators, air conditioners, freezers and dehumidifiers; electronic waste such as computers and phones, and tires up to 16.5 inches, either on or off rims.
Brush and yard waste will not be accepted, but the Goshen Street Department will make a final collection of leaves and garden plants beginning Monday, May 6. Brush will also be collected. Residents should place piles in the proper location prior to the first day of the pickup, May 6, at 7 a.m.
With questions about the free trash disposal program next week, or questions about leaf and brush pickup, call the Goshen Street Department at 534-9711.