Sanitation department preparing for cleanup week May 8-12 in Jamestown

City workers collected 90 tons of material during citywide cleanup week in 2022.

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City crews worked in the rain May 9, 2022, to pick up unwanted items during citywide residential curbside cleanup week in Jamestown. This year, cleanup week is May 8-12 in Jamestown.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun file photo

JAMESTOWN — Sanitation department employees are making final preparations for citywide residential curbside cleanup week May 8-12 in Jamestown, according to Shawn O’Neill, sanitation foreman.

O’Neill said the sanitation department tries to get workers on top of the hill where the inert landfill is located to get the area ready for city trucks and extra traffic. He said the department will get city workers ready to help with citywide cleanup next week.

City workers collected 90 tons of material during citywide cleanup week last year.

Late last year, city officials decided to eliminate the 500-pound free drop-off per month of garbage or inert materials such as construction debris for anybody with a city of Jamestown utility bill and continuing to do the citywide cleanup once a year. Currently, a minimum of $5 is charged for dropping off inert materials and garbage and applies to anyone living in or outside the city of Jamestown.

But, each household will be allowed to dispose of up to 500 pounds of garbage or inert materials at no charge during cleanup week only. Residents must show proof of residency such as a utility bill.


O’Neill said the operating costs of the city baler and landfill have increased over the years. He also said the inert landfill does not have much space left for storage of inert waste, including but not limited to construction and demolition material such as metal, wood, bricks, masonry and cement concrete; asphalt concrete; metal; tree branches; bottom ash from coal fired boilers; and waste coal fines from air pollution control equipment.

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A pile of materials is waiting to be picked up during citywide residential curbside cleanup week May 8-12 in Jamestown.
Masaki Ova / The Jamestown Sun

The cost to take inert construction materials to the landfill would cost $12.50 for 500 pounds and the cost to take garbage there would be just under $20 for 500 pounds, The Jamestown Sun reported in November.

In addition to the 500-pound free drop-off, the city baler and landfill will be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, May 8-12, and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 13. The extended hours are for cleanup week only.

During the entire cleanup week last year, O’Neill said there were around 15 to 16 vehicles that went to the baler and landfill to drop off inert construction materials and garbage after 3:30 p.m.

One of the main issues O’Neill said he sees during cleanup week is nails sticking out of wood. He said residents don’t have to remove the nails but they should at least pound them down.

“When you get a group of people grabbing them and throwing them, your chances of getting cut are very good,” he said. “If they could just remember to pound the nails in the wood, that would be great.”

He also said city workers will not pick up cardboard boxes. He said the materials that are being picked up are going to the inert landfill and not the municipal solid waste landfill.

O’Neill said office chairs, high bar stools and some older kitchen tables with a metal base or four metal posts will not get picked up by city workers during cleanup week.


“We will not pick those up, just because the shaft when they break and we run over them, that shaft comes out and it wrecks our tires and wreaks havoc on our equipment,” he said.

He said the chairs and tables with metal bases or metal posts can be brought to the baler at any time for no charge because the items are counted as metal.

During cleanup week, residents are required to place items on the roadway as close to the curb or shoulder as possible. Materials must be out by 7 a.m. on the designated day.

“When they are setting their stuff out to be collected, make sure it’s about the width of a pickup box,” O’Neill said. “We don’t want to come up and you got one house and it’s a block long. It’s not going to be picked up.”

All items left at a property after the city truck collects accepted items are the property owner's responsibility to clean up. Trucks will not return to collect any remaining items once the route is complete.

Items that are accepted include:

  • basic household items such as furniture, toys and mattresses. 
  • small-scale building, remodeling, landscaping debris, lumber, carpet and padding, wall board, tile, doors, windows, gutters, fencing, non-creosoted landscaping timbers and brick pavers.
  • wood, lumber, fencing and non-creosoted landscaping timbers, which should be broken apart and tied in bundles less than 4 feet long and weigh less than 50 pounds. 
  • carpeting and padding that must each be rolled, tied and no longer than 8 feet.

Items that are not accepted include: large quantities of clothing and linens or bags of any kind, cardboard, household garbage, yard waste, appliances, electronics, automotive products, vehicle parts, large-scale debris, paint, solvents, thinners, primers, bio-medical waste, power lawn mowers, propane tanks, gas cans with any contents and metal unless it is a part of a material that will be picked up.
The following is the schedule when items will be picked up during cleanup week:

  • Monday, May 8: southeast
  • Tuesday, May 9: southwest
  • Wednesday, May 10: northwest
  • Thursday, May 11: northeast

For more information about citywide cleanup and where to take certain items that will not be picked up, visit .

Masaki Ova joined The Jamestown Sun in August 2021 as a reporter. He grew up on a farm near Pingree, N.D. He majored in communications at the University of Jamestown, N.D.
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