ANCHORAGE, Alaska — In Anchorage, the Chamber of Commerce threw a party for volunteers who've spent a good part of the last week picking up trash on May 18.
The annual spring clean-up of the city is part of a 40-plus year tradition.
The Chamber says it began 47 years ago in the spring of 1965. That was one year after the devastating "Good Friday" earthquake rocked this state.
As the snow melted in the spring of '65, people noticed there was still a great deal of debris laying around from a year earlier, and they sprang into action to clean it up.
The volunteerism of that spring evolved into a a volunteerism that's lasted until this day. Now each spring, as the snow melts, it reveals all the garbage that's accumulated during the previous six months.
Most years, that trash gets covered-up by snow and remains unnoticed until spring. Then the volunteers swing into action.
This year thousands of volunteers had to wait an extra two weeks to pick-up the garbage that had accumulated. That's because a record 11-feet of snow fell in Anchorage this year, and it simply took longer to melt away.
Much of the trash is thought to come from improperly secured loads on pick-up trucks. But much of it is simply litter; items like cigarette butts, which have been carelessly discarded.
A great deal of it can accumulate on roadsides and in medians over the winter. Last year, 800-thousand pounds of trash was collected.
This year, it's still not clear how much was picked-up. It will still take 2 more weeks to weigh it all.
The Anchorage Citywide Clean-up program remains in effect until Saturday.
Until then, if you show-up at a landfill with a special, orange trash back, the landfill will accept the trash for free!