The snow is (mostly) gone, and Anchorage's annual citywide cleanup is here

May 2—With the arrival of warmer weather, Anchorage residents have many opportunities to help remove the trash and debris that has emerged from beneath the snow.

The annual Citywide Cleanup coordinated by the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce begins this weekend and runs through June 2. A kickoff event is happening Saturday starting at 11 a.m. at Margaret Eagan Sullivan Park, by Westchester Lagoon. Teams and individuals can register online to participate in the cleanup effort.

Bright-orange trash bags are now available for free pickup from Fred Meyer stores in Anchorage and Eagle River and other designated locations, including the Anchorage Chamber office.

The trash-filled bags can be disposed of for free at the Anchorage Regional Landfill in Eagle River, at the Central Transfer Station in Midtown and Northern Waste on East Dowling Road. (The bags should not be left on the side of the road.)

Beyond the Chamber's organized effort, other cleanups are planned for specific neighborhoods, schools, trails and waterways all around Anchorage — including at more than 40 lakes, creeks and marshes.

Volunteers are encouraged to wear bright colors and safety vests near roadways, and to wear gloves. Used needles should be disposed of properly and carefully, ideally in puncture-proof, lidded plastic containers.

Free landfill disposal passes are also available at the May 4 kickoff event, and a limited number of leftover passes will be available at the city's Central Transfer Station after the event — more on that below.

Cleanup efforts happening in May

—Westchester Lagoon — Saturday, May 4: The Chamber is hosting a kickoff event with food, music and free dump passes from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. or so at Margaret Eagan Sullivan Park.

—Anchorage schools — Saturday, May 4: To participate in the Anchorage School District's Super Sweepers day, ASD families can register with their child's school coordinator online and orange bags will be delivered to the school. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at many schools around the city.

—Ship Creek — Saturday, May 11: The Bait Shack and shipping company Matson are hosting the 12th annual Ship Creek cleanup in preparation for the summer salmon fishing season. The event starts at 11 a.m. at the Bait Shack, 212 W. Whitney Road, and goes until 1:30 p.m.

—Spenard/Turnagain neighborhood — Saturday, May 11: The "Spenardagain" neighborhood cleanup hosted by RMG Real Estate Network will begin in their parking lot at 1900 W. Benson Blvd. at 9 a.m. The event will conclude at 4 p.m.

—Creek Cleanup — May 14-26: Join the Anchorage Waterways Council's annual Creek Cleanup and pick up trash from local streams and waterways via canoe and kayak. A list of cleanup locations is available online, along with a signup form for the days you'd like to help out.

—Flotilla cleanup — Saturday, May 18: The third annual flotilla cleanup focusing on Anchorage's lakes and lagoons is open to anyone with a kayak, canoe, packraft or waders. Visit the online signup form to choose a body of water. Teams will meet at the Cuddy Family Midtown Park parking circle between 9 and 10 a.m. for maps and supplies before heading out to clean up their assigned lake. This event is hosted by Anchorage Parks and Recreation, the Anchorage Park Foundation, Anchorage Waterways Council and Team Orange.

Free dump passes

This year, Anchorage residents will be able to pick up a free summer landfill disposal pass at the May 4 kickoff event — one per residence.

After the kickoff, there may be a limited number of leftover passes at Solid Waste Service's Central Transfer Station, at 1208 E. 56th Ave. Each pass is good for one free trash load, up to the size of one personal vehicle, no trailers allowed. Dropoffs are available at the Anchorage Regional Landfill in Eagle River or the Central Transfer Station.

Are we missing a spring cleanup event in the Anchorage area? Email reporter Annie Berman at with the details, and we'll add it to this story.