Fire halts Papillion’s Spring Cleanup Days

Published: Apr. 22, 2021 at 10:20 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Some Sarpy County residents found themselves driving through plumes of smoke on their evening commute home Thursday.

Fire and city crews worked for hours, putting out flames and monitoring hot spots, after piles of trash caught fire around noon during Spring Cleanup Days.

The service is a weeklong event, running from 7am-5pm from April 19th to 25th. Then, for another week in the fall.

Trenton Albers, Communication Manager for the City of Papillion said the emergency began when an employee at the joint dump site with La Vista, spotted a smoldering pile of waste.

Albers added, “before he could get a fire extinguisher, the fire erupted, engulfing everything in its path.”

There were no injuries and no significant damage, said Albers, who believed after the preliminary investigation, that the fire was in fact, accidental.

“It probably was an item that didn’t belong in that particular trash pile. It could’ve been a battery or something along those lines that ignited the trash,” he explained.

The fire forced Spring Cleanup Days to be temporarily closed for the remainder of the day. It’s set to reopen Friday at 7am.

Albers assured residents the area is safe and employees will be present to reroute people to slightly adjusted areas for dumping their items. “If you come tomorrow and you see the pile smoldering, it’s okay. There will be another spot for you to come bring your trash.”

And for those coming to toss their old items, remember to check the list of things accepted and rejected and make sure they are taking those items to the appropriate location on site.

Also remember, because of COVID safety precautions, this year Public Works won’t be helping people unload their vehicles. Albers said to try and bring a set of helping hands if you have a lot to get rid of.

Acceptable items include:

  • Household and lawn furniture
  • Mattresses and box springs
  • Major appliances
  • Grills and smokers
  • Outdoor power equipment (please empty fuel prior to disposing)
  • Residential construction materials
  • Automotive parts and batteries
  • Undamaged propane tanks
  • Broken toys and play structures
  • Bicycles
  • Tree limbs and yard waste (must be free of garbage and bags)
  • All types of TVs (rear projection, tube TVs, flat screens, etc. may be disposed of in the roll-off dumpsters)
  • CRT computer monitors (may be disposed of in the roll-off dumpsters)

Electronic recyclers will accept the following items in the designated area of the Cleanup Days site:

  • Cassette tapes, CDs, and arcade games
  • Computers (CRT monitors may be disposed of in the roll-off dumpsters) – Participants may request hard drives to be destroyed on site.  The City of Papillion and its material recyclers are not responsible for loss of personal data.
  • Keyboards and mice
  • Printers
  • Cables and wires
  • Batteries of any type and battery back-ups
  • Data center equipment including raised flooring
  • Networking equipment, routers, switches, hubs, etc.
  • Audio and visual equipment, VCRs, CD players, radios, etc.
  • Cell phones of any type and wall chargers
  • Telephones
  • Electric musical instruments including amplifiers
  • Projectors
  • Cable and satellite TV boxes
  • Antennas
  • Small appliances

Items not accepted:

  • tires
  • automotive oil
  • paint
  • hazardous waste
  • chemicals of any kind. 

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