PEKIN — The old saying “A good deed never goes unpunished” could never be more true than this year’s curb side Spruce Up Pekin.
The city of Pekin for the first time in its decades old Spruce Up Pekin event picked up items at the curb. What was not expected was 10 or more TVs on some Pekin lawns dumped there by outsiders or friends and family of Pekin residents. A field behind the street department is full of hundreds of TVs of all shapes and sizes, as well as computer monitors and other electronics.
The final totals of all of the materials gathered are not yet available, said Pekin City Manager Tony Carson.
“For one thing, we’re still loading electronics into the semis,” said Carson. “That was a huge part of what was picked up — electronics, mattresses.
“From the public standpoint, I’ve had nothing but positive comments, from Council members who have been contacted — that the people really appreciated the ability to just take it out to the curb and not have to find a truck, load it up and take it to a site. And that’s what we were trying to accomplish, to make it as convenient for the residents as possible.”
The television totals “will be a massive amount — more than we anticipated,” said Carson.
“It’s hard to police, but it’s a service to our residents that we felt was important,” said Carson. “So it was worthwhile.”
Carson said the street department and solid waste department workers have been working overtime in the evenings to get the TVs on pallets, shrink wrapped and loaded onto trucks. He said workers worked hard during Spruce Up just to keep up with the daily schedule.
“They are very dedicated to their job,” said Carson. “I went and worked with solid waste on Wednesday, rode the truck with them and went out and did what they do.
“I’ve done this in the past with other positions and I do it throughout the departments of the cities when I come. They’re very happy to help the residents and they take pride in their work. But it’s a long hard week and then having to catch up with the electronics, it will be time consuming for that also.”
The city will do Spruce Up Pekin again in the fall, but Carson and the Solid Waste Department workers will discuss this event and look at ways to tweak it.
Follow Sharon Woods Harris at Twitter.com/sharrispekin