LINCOLN SQUARE — It wasn't just a spectacularly cold and snowy winter — it was an uncommonly dirty one, too.
Streets and Sanitation has the stats to prove it.
According to spokeswoman Molly Poppe, during the first five days of street sweeping in 2014, the agency covered 7,538 lane miles and collected 7,167 cubic yards of debris. That's 2,600 more cubic yards than during the same period in 2013, covering 300 fewer lane miles. (One cubic yard measures 3 feet wide by 3 feet long by 3 feet deep. Multiplied by roughly 7,000 equals one ginormous pile of trash.)
And there's still plenty of trash out there on sidewalks and alleys, vacant lots and parks. A number of community organizations are holding "clean and green" events this weekend to spruce up the neighborhoods as part of a massive Earth Day spring cleaning effort.
Join the litter brigade nearest to you:
Lincoln Square North Neighbors, 10 a.m.-noon Saturday. Meet at Matty K's Hardware, 4874 N. Lincoln Ave., which is providing trash bags and supplies. Get to know your neighbors while picking up garbage and debris. Stop by Hilary's Cookies, 4917 N. Lincoln Ave., for a post-event cookie on the house.
Friends of Jacob Park, 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, 4674 N. Virginia Ave. Help spread wood chips, clean up the park's garden beds and pick up litter.
Hamlin Park Neighbors, 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, 3035 N. Hoyne Ave., Hamlin Park fieldhouse. Tasks in the park include picking up trash, planting, weeding and raking. Trash bags, gloves and a commemorative T-shirt will be provided. Bring brooms and/or rakes if you have them. Supplies and T-shirts will also be handed out to volunteers interested in cleaning up surrounding streets and alleys.
Bowmanville Community Organization, 9:30 a.m. Saturday. Join in the spring cleanup of Gateway Garden. Pick up trash and debris, spread wood chips, repair raised beds and help move the composter. Bring gloves, shovels, rakes and refreshments to share. Got seeds? Bring 'em to swap. Sign in at the Gateway Garden pergola table, on North Ravenswood Avenue, south of Balmoral Avenue.
Horner Park West Neighborhood Association, 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, Horner Park, 2741 N. Montrose Ave. Pick up trash, plant, weed and mulch. Tools will be provided, but bring your own work gloves if you have them. (Registration requested.)
The Residents of Irving Park, 10 a.m.-noon Saturday. Meet at the corner of Kedzie and Berteau avenues and get ready to talk trash.
Irving Park East Neighborhood Association, 9 a.m.-noon, Saturday. Help clean up California Park, 3843 N. California Ave. Work gloves, trash bags and T-shirts will be provided.
Greater Independence Park Neighborhood Association Ninth Annual Alley Cleanup, 9 a.m.-noon Saturday. Meet at Byron and Lawndale avenues to pick up rakes, brooms, trash bags and work gloves — or bring your own tools. Coffee and doughnut holes will be provided for an energy boost.
47th Ward Recycling Event, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday. Bring electronics, paper and metal recyclables to the 47th Ward's Streets and Sanitation yard office, 5333 N. Western Ave. Used bikes and books will also be collected for donation.
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