SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


The Second Annual Ketchikan Clean Up
By Jerry Cegelske


May 05, 2011
Thursday AM

The Second Annual Ketchikan Clean Up began the morning of April 20, 2011 with Ketchikan being scoured by 550 students from Ketchikan and Revilla High schools.  To say the least, the results were remarkable!  Ketchikan looks much cleaner today- I hope it stays that way with the effort the students put into the clean up.

Scott Isaacs, Executive Director of Keep Alaska Beautiful, S.E. served as coordinator for the project in working with the High School students, advisors and administration as well as collecting funds and donations from the community for advertising, gloves, and other necessities.

The areas to be cleaned were selected by a drawing by the classes, and the classes were supervised by teachers and monitors from Ketchikan Youth Initiatives.

jpg The Second Annual Ketchikan Clean Up

Juniors at Deermount and Stedman Streets

Last year the students collected 8410 pounds of litter and waste.  This year the seniors collected 3320 pounds, the 23 Revilla students and the freshman class collected 6750 pounds, the juniors got 5070 pounds, and the sophomores collected 5470 pounds, for a total of 20,610!

I watched several of the groups collecting trash and litter along Tongass, Deermount, and Schoenbar as well as several other areas.  One area had numerous appliances, a washer and dryer, electric stove, couch, television, tires and numerous other items.  It was its own solid waste site!  About ten students were observed collecting household trash that had been placed in the woods by bears.

Before last year’s clean up Lenny Neeley, Supervisor of the City of Ketchikan Solid Waste Facility expected 1200- 1500 pounds of litter, trash and waste and ended up with over 8400 pounds.  This year, less was expected because of the work done last year during the clean up, and the students collected over ten tons.

Neeley called the clean up “Very successful. It was fantastic! I appreciate the effort of all the high school students in making Ketchikan a better place to live and in cleaning up the environment.  It was exciting to see their environmentally friendly work.”

Lenny and his crew from the Solid Waste Facility were an integral part of the clean up, placing four boxes (the large dumpsters) around the community for the students to place the collected waste, and providing a truck to transport the material directly to the landfill.  Their work is greatly appreciated.

A “Thank you” should also be extended to those that donated to the clean up, Computer HQ, North American Auto, Anderes Oil, NAPA Auto Parts, Northern Sales, Tongass Substance Screening, Dan’s Automotive, KTKN radio, McDonald’s,  Sean Powell, Cynna Gubatayo, Scott Isaacs, Laura Guerrero, Steve Corporon, and the Ketchikan Gateway Borough through Mayor Kiffer’s Office.  A special “Thanks” to Ketchikan Youth Initiative for providing monitors.

The best thing about the Clean Up is the fact that no injuries were reported.  The students worked under very difficult conditions with the low temperatures, handling unwieldly items, sometimes over difficult terrain.

The next time you see a high school student, take time to thank them for their efforts in making Ketchikan cleaner and a more beautiful place to live.  They set a record that I hope will never be broken, as I hope Ketchikan is making progress in staying litter and trash free. 

Take time to give an appreciative wave to the Solid Waste people also.

Jerry Cegelske
KGB Code Enforcement Officer
Ketchikan, AK

Received April 27, 2011 - Published May 05, 2011


Electric Range 

More trash dumped in Ketchikan


Sophomores cleaning up bear scattered household trash off N. Yorktown.

Cleaning up more bear scattered household trash.


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