Rude-behavior issue - annual, volunteer Dump & Donate event not offered this year
Offered in the Coronado High School parking lot, it offered Westsiders a close-by location to drive in and drop off recyclables and junk, including hazardous wastes, appliances, office items, electronics, cardboard and brush.
But it's not happening this year.
In an interview, Realtor Barbara Harris talked about how the popular three-hour event got increasingly more difficult to manage. For example, in the earlier years a single dumpster was sufficient for discards. But by last year, she was having to bring in four, and “they filled them up,” she recalled. Nor was the event over yet. “People just started dumping trash in the parking lot. We had to hire people to clean it up. It was a free event and they just took advantage of the situation.”
Adding to the demoralization, some of the attendees acted out their impatience as they waited in line in their cars. “I had a lady almost run me over, upset because she'd waited so long,” Harris said.
Dump & Donate's magnitude can be seen in the following totals, provided to the Westside Pioneer after the 2013 event: 1,326 gallons of latex paint, 127 aerosol cans, 66 gallons of flammable liquids, 17 lead-acid batteries and 195 pounds dry-cell, 72 gallons of oil, 28 gallons of antifreeze, 76 tires, 12 one-pound propane tanks and seven 20-pound, 23 TVs, 12 mattresses and 10 CRTs.
“It was a big event, the biggest like it in Colorado Springs,” Harris said. Costs were involved too, including renting the Coronado parking lot from District 11 and obtaining insurance.
Some years the Harris team got help from volunteer groups or local businesses, and there was coordination with vendors and El Paso County's hazardous waste staff, but the main planning came from “just the five of us” in her office, she said.
The concept developed from the generally universal concept of spring cleaning. And many people who've used the drop-off opportunity over the years have expressed their appreciation, Harris pointed out.
She's not saying Dump & Donate Day will never come back. “But we might pare it down a bit,” she said. “We're taking a break from it this year. We don't mind doing it, but there are always the bad apples, and we got burned a little last year,” she said.
Westside Pioneer article