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Empire, Farmington cleanup events are a sign of spring

What do green grass, robins, tulips and broken furniture all have in common? One way or the other, they are all signs of spring around the Farmington area. And in a good way -- even the broken furniture.

Piles of broken furniture, old appliances and carpet scraps are part of the annual spring clean-up efforts Empire and Farmington both hold.

Empire's day-long event will take place this Saturday. Depending on what residents want to get rid of, they can either place the items curbside, or bring them to Empire Town Hall for disposal.

Empire residents can get rid of one appliance, plus any furniture and bulk items, like bikes or lawn mowers, in the curbside collection. If they have electronics or tires to get rid of, those should be taken down to the collection site at town hall.

Construction materials, hazardous waste, paints, pesticides and oil and car batteries will not be accepted.

Empire's program has taken place for more than a decade, clerk Kathy Krippner said. It's provided to residents free of charge. Empire Township works with Dick's Sanitation and Resource Recovery Technologies to provide the service.

More information about Empire's program is available on the township's website,


Farmington's annual citywide clean-up days starts April 20 for residents whose garbage is collected on Mondays. Curbside clean-up continues in city limits every Saturday through May 18.

Collection is determined in subsequent weeks by what days residents normally have their garbage collected. April 27 will be for residents whose garbage is picked up on Tuesdays, May 4 will be for Wednesday collection, May 11 will be for Thursday collection and May 18 will be for Friday collection.

The city of Farmington provides the curbside collection as a free service to residents, municipal services coordinator Lena Larson said. The city of Farmington pays between $120,000 and $150,000 to provide the service annually, but residents do not pay any extra in fees or taxes.Funding for the program is figured into the city's solid waste budget each year.

Farmington's clean-up days are limited to residents within city limits, Larson said.

"Not everybody needs it every year, but a lot of people do," she said.

Residents can get rid of up to two appliances, and up to two televisions, computers or monitors. Anyone leaving appliances for pick up should remove the doors from the appliances. In addition, they can leave carpet, furniture, mattresses and box springs.

The city will not accept construction materials, landscaping materials, leaves and brush, motor oil or car batteries, paint, scrap metal, tires or household chemicals.

"We do get people putting out hazardous waste piles and fluorescent light bulbs," Larson said. "We can't take any of that through this program."

Residents can save their paint, driveway sealer, household chemicals and fluorescent lights for the fall household hazardous waste drop-off event, which is scheduled for Sept. 7.

The discontinued its collection of scrap metal within the past couple of years, Larson added.

"There are a lot of scrap metal recycling places where you can drop off your scrap metal for free," she said.

Residents who have questions about Farmington's clean-up or recycling options can call Larson at 651-280-6905, or visit the city's website,

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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