There’s now one less vacant house in Youngstown. Mayor Tito Brown used the demolition of a major dumping site on the east side to announce a new partnership to clean up the city.
With a low rumble, a crack and a smash, the last house standing on Forest Glen Avenue used for dumping came tumbling down.
As soon as council approves it, the street will be closed off and people won’t be able to dump there anymore.
“I’m excited because this is something we’ve talked about. Now we’re putting things in action,” Brown said.
He used the demolition to announce a new partnership Wednesday with the Community Corrections Association. The city will pay CCA for work crews to clean up dumping sites.
“We’ve partnered with CCA, they’ll come out daily to clean out litter,” Brown told us. “We want to clean up no matter what side of town it is.”
He said this is a plus for the citizens and taxpayers, and a way to see their tax money at work. He also said this will expand his initiative to end illegal dumping in the city.
Jennifer Jones, with Green Youngstown, said that extra help will go a long way.
“We tend to focus a lot more on the illegal dumping, the tires, the mattresses, the other debris you can see around here. We spend a whole lot of time cleaning that up and we don’t have a lot of time for actual bottles and cans you see on the sides of the roads.”
Dumping has been a major issue for a long time.
Three years ago, we did a story on people dumping illegally on Dudley Avenue. The city put up a barrier to make it a little more difficult. Still, people continue to dump their trash.
About two years ago, the city started closing off empty roads where most of the dumping occurred.
Closing the streets is helping.
“The city is so large and, unfortunately, we have a lot of abandoned land,” Jones said. “There’s just so many places where people can illegally dump. By closing off certain areas, it focuses so we are better able to catch them. Instead of having 100 places for us to put cameras and keep an eye on, now we’re down to 75 or 60.”
In addition to putting up cameras to catch dumpers in the act, the city is also looking at the way the streets are blocked.
“In our street department, we are looking at creative ways to block them where you can’t get around them,” Brown said.
In the meantime, the city will keep cleaning up — one dump site at a time.