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Moorhead cancels curbside pickup for cleanup week due to coronavirus; other cities forge ahead

Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo typically work together in scheduling this popular, annual event.

Lawn trimmings and old toys are among the items collected during the annual cleanup week. Forum file photo

MOORHEAD — A springtime metro cleanup tradition that was postponed to the fall because of the coronavirus pandemic will not happen after all in Moorhead, though its neighboring cities will go on with their programs.

Moorhead Public Works Director Steve Moore said the city is cancelling curbside collection during Cleanup Week next month due to public health concerns over COVID-19, just as they did in the spring when the virus first started circulating.

“Conditions are even worse now, so it doesn’t make any sense to put employees at risk,” Moore said.


Instead of receiving curbside pickup, Moorhead residents can drop off unwanted items at no cost at the city’s solid waste transfer station between Monday, Sept. 14 and Friday, Sept. 18.
Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo typically take a unified approach to Cleanup Week, when residents purge their homes and dump old furniture, household items and other junk on the boulevard.


Separating waste into piles on your curb makes it easy for crews to pick things up to haul away. Forum file photo

But Moore said Moorhead wanted to move forward with a decision, while Fargo and West Fargo were still finalizing their plans.

Fargo and West Fargo officials said curbside collection for Cleanup Week will go on, starting Sept. 14.

“It’s a very popular program for our residents,” said Gregg Schildberger, city of Fargo communications director.

He said plans would be finalized, being cognizant of COVID-19 precautions, during a meeting on Monday, Aug. 31 and released after that.

Mattie Hjelseth, media relations specialist for the City of West Fargo, said details for their cleanup week will be released late this week.

Moore said continuity of service was also a factor in Moorhead’s decision.


If half of the sanitation staff contracted coronavirus, the city wouldn’t be able to pick up garbage and other items in a timely manner, he said.

“Obviously, we didn’t make this decision lightly, but we have to keep the big picture in mind,” he said.

Moorhead employs 22 people in its sanitation department, serving about 2,200 customers a day with recycling and garbage pickup, along with several hundred businesses, Moore said.

During a typical curbside Cleanup Week, he pulls in more than a dozen street maintenance employees and sometimes forestry workers to help handle the large volume of material.

Moore said he realizes it might be tough for some residents to haul those large items to the landfill on their own; however, many people can find a friend or a family member with a pickup or other vehicle to do so.

The free drop-off will take place from Sept. 14 through Sept. 18 between 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. each day at the city’s solid waste transfer station at 2727 Hwy 10 East, Moorhead.

There’s a two appliance limit, building materials are subject to a disposal fee and tires will not be accepted.

More information about this change, and about household hazardous waste and electronics recycling, can be found on the City of Moorhead website.

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