Normally, the days around August 15 ("Hippie Christmas") on Madison's isthmus are crowded with old mattresses, discarded furniture, and soggy student castoffs, as apartment leases turn over and the amateur movers dump whatever they don't want any more. This year, a concerted effort to inform movers as to their rights and responsibilities, three places to drop off or pick up usable stuff, and three days of special shifts for street crews have had a visible result. Wednesday, The DailyPage's Kristian Knutsen reported leaner pickings for Freegans and an "agressive assault" on the trash by the City's Streets & Recycling Department.
By Thursday morning, the student district streets west and east of campus were nearly as clean as usual. The special 4 am pickup shifts worked, and there was hardly a mattress to be found. Congratulations are due to Madison Streets Superintendent Al Schumacher, and to all the crews who moved those mountains of trash. The hard work of a lot of people was involved. The citizens of Madison appreciate it.
- Barry Orton