TALENT — Organizers hope the fifth annual volunteer Green-Up and Clean-Up Day in the city Saturday will continue a path to a cleaner city.

TALENT — Organizers hope the fifth annual volunteer Green-Up and Clean-Up Day in the city Saturday will continue a path to a cleaner city.

"The number of people is growing. The city seems to be cleaner," said Cheryl Nicolay, the city's administrative assistant and volunteer coordinator who helps organize the event. "We notice each year the people seem to be more aware."

Events include an organized trash pickup and the chance to recycle lumber, grass, brush and leaves at reduced rates at the Valley View Transfer Station. A pickup service is offered for those who don't have vehicles to make the trip to the transfer station. The city's Together for Talent Committee organizes the day.

"The good news is that we are starting to make a dent in things," said City Councilwoman Wendy Siporen, liaison to the committee. "When we first started we were picking up a lot of garbage."

"Green-up" will come by getting rid of plants that died over the winter, said Siporen. "Clean-up" comes through garbage removal.

Volunteer trash pickers can come to Tark's Market parking lot at 8 a.m., 10 a.m. or noon. They will be given maps showing areas to clean and separate bags for trash and recyclables. After they cover an area, volunteers bring the bags back to Tark's. The store will supply coffee and donuts for volunteers.

"In the mornings is when it's the busiest. I think people like to start bright and early," said Nicolay. "We'll go until people stop coming."

She estimates about 50 to 75 people participate, including those who don't come downtown but cover their own neighborhoods.

Residents of Talent and other south county communities will pay just $3.50 per pickup load for wood and yard debris they take to the Ashland transfer station on Saturday. Regular rates are $7 per cubic yard.

Previously residents were able to take the debris to an Ashland Sanitary bin at Chuck Roberts Park. Difficulties handling materials at that site and injury to a company employee last year prompted the change.

"We thought we'd go ahead and combine (discount day at the station) with Talent's event," said Russ Chapman, Ashland Sanitary owner. "It's a safer environment. We have the equipment to handle the heavier stuff."

Those without trucks can call Susan Harrington at 535-1865 to arrange pickup. More information is available from Nicolay at 535-1566.

Tony Boom is a freelance writer living in Ashland. Reach him at tboom8929@charter.net.