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Fourth of July cleanup 'just another day on the job'

Hagerstown Parks and Recreation Division workers pick up trash at Fairgrounds Park

July 05, 2012|By CALEB CALHOUN | caleb.calhoun@herald-mail.com
  • Randy Lee, , a city recreation worker, cleans up trash from Wednesday night's Forth of July celebration at Fairgrounds Park in Hagerstown.
By Yvette May, Staff Photographer

As the Fourth of July celebration at Fairgrounds Park drew to a close Wednesday, the cleanup was just beginning.

Workers from the Hagerstown Parks and Recreation Division were out Wednesday night and Thursday from morning to the afternoon, cleaning up the park after the popular event.

“It’s just another day on the job,” said Randy Lee, a city recreation worker. “Every day’s a cleanup day for me; today there is just more trash than usual.”

Lee, who was picking up the trash left at the park Thursday morning, said he didn’t mind the work because he enjoys being outside.

And, he said, the people who attended the celebration did a good job of not being too messy.

“They all helped,” Lee said. “Everybody trying to help is the only thing you can ask.”

Workers were out until between 1 a.m. and 1:30 a.m. after the celebration Wednesday night, and they were scheduled to spend their entire work day on Thursday cleaning up, division Superintendent Junior Mason said.

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“It takes a whole crew to clean up afterward,” he said. “We spend a day just picking up trash, food and debris from the fireworks. The fireworks usually cause more trash than the people.”

Workers took down the lights, tents, stages, tables and campers Wednesday night, Mason said. Tarps were also placed over the baseball fields to catch some of the debris from the fireworks, and workers had to remove those on Thursday.

Mason said that the cleanup effort does not interfere with other functions of the agency.

“This is just a part of our job,” he said. “We make sure we schedule around it when we know we’ll have something like this.”

Roughly 80 to 100 yards worth of trash had to be picked up, he said.

The work day was scheduled to last from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., with most or all of the cleanup work expected to be done by then, he said.

Mark Brown was also out cleaning up Thursday, but he said picking up trash was not the only thing he had to do.

“I’ve had a few people already stop and ask for cellphones and keys, so we’re looking for things left behind,” he said. “Cleaning up after an event like Wednesday night is way more than usual, but ... it wasn’t real bad.”

Cory Kline, who also was cleaning up, said it was not that bad but certain factors can make it worse.

“It’s been hot, and we’re sweaty, so it’s tiring,” Kline said. “The bathrooms were very very bad. Cleaning the bathrooms after people is really the worst thing about working here.”

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