Auburn to host Earth Day event as community spruce-up

AUBURN -- Motor oil, dead batteries, scrap metal, old tires, electronics that long ago went kaput.

In short, junk.

That's what Auburn leaders want residents to cough up, come April 23 and 24.

The city recently announced plans for its third annual Earth Day Great American Clean-Up, a means to observe the 40th anniversary of the April 22 celebration while trimming garbage from residents' homes and yards.

"The clean-up has continued to grow each time we have it," said Auburn event coordinator Charlotte Ewing. "We literally receive tons of items to recycle and dispose of."

Junk will be collected near Auburn's City Hall and carted away from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. All disposals are free, with the exception of tires ($2 to $5 a piece), which legally require a fee for disposal, Ewing said.

Companies from as far as Atlanta will be on hand to collect materials. Scrap metal will be sold to an Auburn business to help offset the cost of recycling tires, Ewing said.

"We always seem to owe more for tires than we take in, due to the various sizes," she said.

Usable items such as clothes, furniture and toys will be donated to a thrift store. A Dumpster service has agreed to provide receptacles for free and cover landfill costs to help beautify the city, Ewing said.

The communal clean-up provides a service that was otherwise missing on Auburn's end of Barrow County, Ewing said.

"The public is learning that the clean-up will take place and some anticipate the event twice a year," she said. "They know the city of Auburn is doing its part in keeping American beautiful."