20th annual Fairmount Ravine cleanup: Defying the rain

March 10, 2012 at 6:22 pm | In Environment, West Seattle news | 7 Comments

(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)
The 20th annual community cleanup of Fairmount Ravine got going a bit later than planned this morning – the weather wasn’t too friendly, but that wasn’t going to stop the Fairmount Ravine Preservation Group. They have a lot of history, as noted in the preview we published this past week. So off they went, up onto the slopes that line the road that travels beneath the 85-year-old Admiral Way Bridge:

You wouldn’t notice while driving or riding through, but those who live, walk, and run there are acutely aware of what builds up from people who hang out around the bridge’s base, maybe to camp, maybe to party. So bags were filled by the intrepid volunteers:

In the end, they were amassing a sizable pile, as usual. What was unusual this year? we asked. You can’t tell from this photo, but a fair number of … DVDs.

(added 10:13 pm) John Lang shares his recap:

It was nice to see younger families be involved especially when climbing the steep slopes under the bridge. Today’s event brought together a total of 21 neighbors spanning 4 generations. Granted, the six-month-old baby slept most of the time.

The number of bags tripled after Patrick took his photos because there was considerably more trash on the west side than anticipated. We have a new problem this year. People are throwing their old “tube-type” TVs, VCRs (including one with the Dukes of Hazzard tape!) over the bridge resulting in considerable broken glass. If you have ever moved a 32″ TV, you know how heavy they are. There were several TVs shattered under the bridge. This made the cleanup very tedious, slow and more dangerous this year. Also strange were the 20+ well used bicycle tires left under the bridge. Now why would they be there?

We will have to get the police back to start checking under the bridge periodically as there was evidence of considerable party activity. re: 200+ beer cans/bottles. Another interesting twist to the day was when I left the site and drove down to remove temporary signs we put up for the event; 5 minutes later, a pickup truck was stopped to pick up all the scrap metal and bagged recyclables. An interesting sign of our economic times.

This year’s vintage find was a ~50-year-old 7Up bottle in perfect condition.

By the way, Fairmount Ravine has gained a little more fame since last year’s cleanup – this music video featured here last summer, by Cause and Effect, included one sequence (see it from 1:15 to 1:45) in the ravine:

Our coverage of previous Fairmount Ravine cleanups:
2011
2010
2009
2008

7 Comments

  1. What a great community story. Very sorry to hear people have been dumping old TVS off the bridge.
    .
    As long as the city refuses to provide any type of disposal service for electronics, this activity will probably continue. Sad.
    .

    Comment by JoAnne — 9:13 am March 11, 2012 #

  2. What did the homeless person living under the west side think about the cleanup? I know for a fact that person is responsible for a large amount of the trash at the base of the lower west side support.
    .
    And JoAnne, it’s NOT a result of the city NOT providing a disposal service, it’s pure laziness on the part of the people dumping the TVs. TVs can be recycled for free at any Goodwill location, or other locations through Washington’s E-cycle program.
    .
    http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/swfa/eproductrecycle/

    Comment by Jason — 10:02 am March 11, 2012 #

  3. First thank you to the volunteer’s for cleaning this up!! I am thinking that alot of this is the remains of stolen property, did any one call the police to check it out? We are having the same problem in the Eddie street area of Morgan Junction, and alot of it is stolen property.

    Comment by Silly Goose — 10:19 am March 11, 2012 #

  4. One of the founding members of Cause + Effect lives in W Seattle.

    Comment by DaveB — 4:23 pm March 11, 2012 #

  5. I think I lost it in the editing but that’s why we had featured the song (follow the link) earlier in the year. Great song. :)

    Comment by WSB — 5:37 pm March 11, 2012 #

  6. Jason if you make it more difficult for people to do the right thing, a greater number of people are going to do the wrong thing, and in fact this is what has happened.
    .
    Since the city stopped taking them, more old TVs and VCRs are landing in dumpsters, in ravines, or sitting out on sidewalks.
    .
    Yes, the folks who dumped TVs are reprehensible, but the city policy is a failed one. We now have innocent volunteers handling hazardous waste.

    Comment by JoAnne — 4:17 pm March 12, 2012 #

  7. Stellar job people! Thank you.

    Comment by Been There — 6:21 pm March 12, 2012 #

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