Sweeping Town Clean: Big Broom Week kicks off with steady start

Melissa Peterson photo

Glenrock Municipal Workers John Funk (from left) and Harold Bean carefully load an unwanted wheel-barrow into the front loading before dropping it into the dump truck. 

Melissa Peterson melissa@glenrockind.com

One week each year for the last 17 years, the Town of Glenrock is woken by the sound of beeping from the front-end loader reversing into the street, matched with the sound of a blue dump truck following behind. Just the night before, Glenrock residents went into their homes, garages and outside to their yards to collect unwanted items to place on the curb. From April 30 to May 4, spring cleaning and the week of Arbor Day gets a steady push thanks to the Town of Glenrock.
Originally, it was started by residents of the town and community leaders who noticed the growing piles of trash around Glenrock. Old, rusty cars would be in the yard, amongst other items, until it was deemed unsafe for the local kids and also unsightly for people passing through.
“It’s a great service that the Town of Glenrock offers to the community and it’s a way of promoting a healthy and safe community as well,” former Glenrock Community Development Director Kasey Drummond said.
An equal problem for most community members was trying to correctly dispose of large tree branches and heavy items at the landfill if they didn’t have a truck or felt safe transporting the items on their own.
This year, Town of Glenrock Municipal Workers John Funk and Harold Bean spent Monday driving through the neighborhoods of Glenrock to collect some of the unwanted items. Teaming up for the last several years, Bean will arrive at the next house on the list driving the Town’s yellow front loader, while Funk follows behind in the blue dump truck.
After scoping out the items placed on the sidewalk, they are prepared to find anything ranging from bags of leaves to iron fences. While standing on the sidewalk waiting for his partner Bean to arrive, Funk breaks into a laugh as he recalls some of the stranger things he has picked up, such as refrigerators with the food still in them and trash bags full of mystery items. One of their favorite things to move remains washer and dryers, because according to Funk, if you pick them up with the front loader and shake them, all the coins that have disappeared from years past come falling out. One year, they set the record of finding $27.13 dollars in one dryer.
On one of the curbs early this week, the team encountered a section of iron fence that was too long and awkwardly shaped to pick up with the front loader. So, perfecting a move they have obviously used multiple times, Funk hopped from the sidewalk back into the front loader while Bean picked up the iron fence and propped it against a nearby tree. Next, they proceeded to take the shovel on the front of the loader and push down in the center of the fence until it bent at a 30-degree angle. After a few more maneuvers, the piece of fence was successfully folded and tossed into the back of the dump truck before they set off to the next location.

In conclusion with Big Broom Week, comes one of Glenrock’s favorite days during spring. Much like Big Broom Week, the Trees for Trash program was put into place to encourage green habits and keeping the community clean while investing in growing a tree.
“They take off and they grow. People love the Trash for Trees idea,” Drummond said.
This year, the Converse County Conservation District ordered upwards of 100 trees, ranging from native plum, red osier dogwood, honeylocust, Rocky Mountain juniper and Engelmann spruce.
Even though they seem unassuming at first, looking like a small stick in a pot of dirt, in the past, they have through Glenrock.
“Trees for trash, come up, grab one and watch it grow,” Drummond said.


Glenrock Independent

Physical Address:506 W. Birch, Glenrock, WY 82637 Mailing Address: PO Box 109, Douglas, WY 82633 Phone: (307) 436-2211

The Glenrock Independent is located in the Bronco Building

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