In recent years, trash overflow has been a problem. You may have come to one of the cemeteries on Larson Rd in Rainier or Murray Hill in Cltatskanie to visit and noticed trash overflowing onto the ground around the cans. Up until 2018 we had regular garbage service at those locations every week. However, in order to try to save some money, we decided to cancel regular pick up and just gather it in cans and take it to the dump ourselves. This saved alot of money but took more time. The Cemetery Maintenance Crew were spending between 2 and 3 hours gathering loading and traveling to and from the dump whereas before; it would take around an hour to gather the trash and have it at one location for the truck to pick up in rainier. The Clatskanie location also required some time to make sure the cans were full but, not as much. There was always the trouble of having to make sure the trash was collected at the right time however.
One main problem the District has always had with trash is that people put household trash from their homes into our cans. The cemetery maintenance employees found huge trash bags full of common yard debris in the cans at Hudson cemetery obviously from someone's personal property. We also see alot of trucks and other passers by putting the trash from their vehicles into our cans. Even the tiny cans under the pet waste stations are stuffed with soft drink cups and fast food bags and other trash. In addition to all of these things; we have found trash dumped at our more remote cemeteries and have had to clean it up and bring it to our cans. All of these things add up to the overflowing trash situation.
We are trying to make the cemeteries a clean and nice place to be but, we need your help. Our main priority is to make sure people who call in and email for information or to schedule services are being taken care of our second priority is to keep the mowing up so people can at least get to the graves they are visiting. If there is time and/or volunteer help; the third priority is trimming around the headstones. Somewhere between taking care of people's needs on the phone and emails, burials and keeping up the mowing is where the Cemetery Maintenance Crew runs out of time on this priority list. Picking up trash and gathering it to take to the dump falls to the very bottom of the list. Most of you would agree that mowing, burials and answering the phone need to be a priority. This is where we need your help. If you have some trash that was once a decoration on a loved ones grave; that is most definitely what those cans are for and you are encouraged to come back and take care of that rather than leaving it for the maintenance crew to pick up. If you just have some trash floating around your car when you get to the cemetery; please leave it there until you get home to throw it in the trash. If you see some trash laying out in the cemetery and you feel you should pick it up; please do and place it in the nearest can and thank you! If you are at a cemetery that does not have a trash can; please take it with you and either drop it off at one of our locations that has a can (if you are going to drive by it anyway) or take it to your trash can at home.
We do have a new system we are trying out this year and hope to be able to keep up with the normal cemetery trash better but, please keep in mind the day to day challanges of our two cemetery maintenance employees and having 12 locations to maintain.
Thank you for understanding!