Volunteers pick up trash during informal cleanup day in MidvaleNov 02, 2020 02:42PM ● By Sarah Morton Taggart
By Sarah Morton Taggart | [email protected]
Jarret Casey walked past trash every day on his way to work or to buy groceries. He kept noticing litter hot spots all around Midvale. It kept on bugging him, so he picked a day and invited other residents to help him clean it up.
Casey created a Facebook event called “Midvale Trash Cleanup” and posted it to the Midvale Residents’ Facebook group. The invite said to meet in the parking lot behind the Midvale Performing Arts Center on Sept. 20 at 8 a.m.
More than 70 people expressed interest, and 11 of them showed up ready to help.
Lindsey Doe brought her 4-year-old son to help with the cleanup. “We’re doing preschool at home, so I was excited for a chance to do service,” Doe said. “I want to teach him to take pride in where we live.”
Doe had also noticed the trash accumulating around Midvale.
“I see it when I drive, but I keep driving,” Doe said. “Then I see it again and keep driving. This was the push I needed to stop and do something.”
Casey had never organized an event like this before, so he asked his mother, Mary Casey of Ogden, to help. She used to arrange community projects when she worked for UPS. She set up refreshments and asked that everyone sign a release form before starting.
The mother and son handed out gloves, brooms and trash bags and divided the volunteers into groups. One group started at the Jordan River trailhead at 7800 South and ended up on Bingham Junction Blvd. One group worked its way down Center Street from Main Street to Grant Street, and Doe’s group tackled State Street at 7800 South.
“We covered one block of State Street on both sides and filled up three trash bags,” Doe said. “Lots of people stopped to say thank you. It makes me want to do this all the time.”
Casey spent around $60 on gloves, masks, trash bags and refreshments for the volunteers. “It was totally worth it,” Casey said. “And there’s a lot left over for next time.”
After working for more than two hours, the volunteers returned to the parking lot and pooled the bags of trash they had collected to be disposed in a private dumpster Casey had access to.
Casey has only lived in Midvale since December 2019, but he already feels a strong affection for the city. “The charm of it reminds me of Ogden,” Casey said. “I love how it’s centrally located, and you’ve got two TRAX lines.”
Casey plans to do future cleanup days, including another one this fall. He hopes to gather more participants in order to cover more areas of the city. Anyone wishing to join can check the Midvale Residents’ Facebook group for details.
“I’m heartened by the commitment of everyone who showed up to beautify the area,” Casey said. “Even such seemingly small efforts can really add up.”