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Cleaning up after St. Nick

'Twas the day after Christmas and all through the town, post-holiday refuse sat heaped, pound upon pound. The trash was all stacked by the curbside with care, in hopes solid-waste collectors like Roy Fick soon would be there. "Not much weight, ju...

Roy Fick grabs trash

'Twas the day after Christmas and all through the town, post-holiday refuse sat heaped, pound upon pound.

The trash was all stacked by the curbside with care, in hopes solid-waste collectors like Roy Fick soon would be there.

"Not much weight, just volume," Fick said as he tossed bag after bag into his garbage truck Tuesday, the busiest day

of the year for Fargo solid waste collectors.

Actually, "the whole week's going to be heavy, probably a little bit into next week, too," said Fick, a veteran of several holiday clean-ups.

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The city normally has

11 trucks collecting trash on a given day, but this week it will have 13 going each day, said Delmar Ruff, Fargo's route supervisor.

One driver, Lyle Macziewski, said based on the empty boxes he was picking up Tuesday morning, this holiday season was a big year for big-screen televisions and computer monitors.

"A lot of Sonys," he said.

Christmas came early this year for one Fargo woman who accidentally threw away a number of gifts and an heirloom blanket about a week ago.

City workers invited her to the landfill, where the garbage truck on her route was emptied and the woman was allowed to dig through the mess to look for the gifts and blanket, most of which was recovered.

"It was a truckload. So, she had to dig quite a while to get it," Macziewski said.

Hunting for lost treasures isn't unusual around the holidays, according to Ruff, who said the city typically gets several calls a year from people who throw bags of gifts out with the garbage.

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He said they have about a 99 percent success rate in helping people recover what was lost.

"It's not easy. It involves some pretty dirty work. And a lot of it," Ruff said.

Next week also promises some busy days for solid-waste collectors, as people start throwing out their Christmas trees.

"We'll have a separate truck that just drives around picking up trees," Fick said.

"They (the trees) go out to the landfill and get chipped up and reused for landscaping projects throughout the city," he added.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555

I'm a reporter and a photographer and sometimes I create videos to go with my stories.

I graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead and in my time with The Forum I have covered a number of beats, from cops and courts to business and education.

I've also written about UFOs, ghosts, dinosaur bones and the planet Pluto.

You may reach me by phone at 701-241-5555, or by email at dolson@forumcomm.com
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