As illegal dumping continues in Youngstown, city leaders are taking new action because cleaning up the trash costs a lot of money.
One problem area is on Fountain Drive, where piles of illegally dumped trash — like couches, TVs and tires — are just feet away from Gerald Schromofsky’s house.
“We live in a lower section. That doesn’t mean we’re not people. That doesn’t mean we should be treated like animals,” he said.
Schromofsky has been living in the house ever since he was born.
“It infuriates me,” said Youngstown City Councilman Julius Oliver.
Fountain Drive is one of the areas Oliver represents.
“People are coming in from other areas, using our city as their personal dumping grounds. It makes you very angry,” he said.
“It costs us a lot of money to clean it up,” said Green Youngstown coordinator Jennifer Jones.
Jones is part of the cleanup crew that picks up the illegally dumped items. They say money spent on cleaning up could be going toward other projects.
“Like helping people start new business, helping people fix up their houses, filling up potholes,” Jones said.
Oliver says he’s seen videos of people illegally dumping on social media.
“People are catching these people on camera but I don’t think they know exactly who to talk to,” he said.
If you see illegal dumping, you can call 911 or hand over any information to Green Youngstown.
“If you could just get the information to us to be able to turn it over that really would help us a long way in prosecuting them,” Jones said.
Right now, illegal dumping is a misdemeanor offense, but city leaders are working with state attorney generals to make it a felony.
If you have any tips about illegal dumping in your area, call the Youngstown Community Police Unit at 330-793-6650.
The city will pick up mattresses with your garbage on the side of the street, but only if they are wrapped in plastic. They will also pick up couches.