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Park gets spring cleaning

Armed with chainsaws, front-end loaders and a pretty decent pulley system, city crews hauled dead trees, bicycles and household appliances from some hard-to-reach places yesterday at Chalkfarm Park, as part of the city’s spring cleanup.

Stuck-on stains are a drag. Mud-encrusted shopping carts are worse.

Armed with chainsaws, front-end loaders and a pretty decent pulley system, city crews hauled dead trees, bicycles and household appliances from some hard-to-reach places yesterday at Chalkfarm Park, as part of the city’s spring cleanup.

This year, the city got a head start because of the nice weather. For the past few weeks, crews have been removing graffiti, clearing jams in ravines, and dusting off city-owned lanes and bridges. The work is expected to be finished in late April.

Despite all the shopping bags and scarves snagged in the park’s trees, Toronto is actually cleaner than usual this year.

“It has a lot to do with the fact there was very little snow,” said Myles Currie, the director of transportation services at the city. “That’s a real bonus.”

Last year, the cleanup netted 4,000 truckloads of waste, Currie said: Forgotten basketballs, faulty umbrellas. Couches, fridges, kitchen sinks.

The five-gallon bucket filled with human excrement was probably the worst.

“It’s really disturbing,” Currie said of all the appliances.

“If you contact the city for those large items, they’d pick them up.” (The city does not, however, have a homemade toilet pick-up program, so consider this your warning.)

Although there’s a lot of junk out there, it’s not all bad. Ron Meadus once found $50 cash at Rowntree Mills Park, near Finch and Islington.

“It was the highlight of my career,” Meadus said.