SIOUX CITY -- Saturday afternoon, dozens of pickup trucks ambled to the Sioux City Citizens Convenience Center, 5800 28th St., loaded down with all kinds of goodies: piles of old carpet, wood, furniture, lots of mattresses, lawn waste and other stuff that can't go in a trash can.
Many of these people were, no doubt, ridding their homes of clutter. Some were impacted by the mid-March flooding that struck the region, which ruined the basement carpeting and potentially whatever else was down there.
Jim Gill, a manager at the Citizens Convenience Center, said peoples' spring cleaning means a lot more garbage business.
"Every spring is just crazy," Gill said. "This year it's bad because of the flooding. It's really bad."
Besides all the mattresses, flooring and furniture (which gets taken to the Gill Hauling landfill in Jackson, Nebraska), the Convenience Center accepts television sets and other electronics generally considered unsuitable for landfill dumping. Gill said electronics get taken away by a Minnesota-based firm, which recycles the items, extracting any valuable materials they contain.
Then there's recyclable glass bottles, which get taken away to a firm in Kansas. Other recyclables are sorted, baled and hauled to Le Mars.
More and more Siouxlanders are opting to recycle rather than pitch their recyclables with the rest of the trash, Gill said. The city's curbside recycling program is likely a driving force.
"It's getting bigger all the time, recycling," he said.
As people clean up the environment inside their homes, a special event will be held Sunday, April 28, in celebration of the outside environment. Earth Day is Monday, April 22.
The Siouxland Earth Day celebration will be held at the Delta Hotels Conference Center in South Sioux City on Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. The event will feature sidewalk chalk art, a bike safety check by the South Sioux City Police Department, rock painting coordinated by Siouxland Rocks and a litter pick-up walk led by Miss Earth Nebraska.
There will also be presentations on topics including owls, sustainable agriculture and natural resources, renewable energy, a discussion on recycling, and the South Sioux City community orchard and bees.
Giveaways at the event will include reusable grocery bags and water bottles and, the grand prize, a two-night stay in a cabin at Ponca State Park in Nebraska. Attendees can bring beady styrofoam packing material and insulation sheets (but not styrofoam egg or food containers or packing peanuts) to the event for recycling.