Youngstown council asked to approve spending more to pick up old mattresses across city

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Erin Bishop is asking city council to appropriate an additional $45,000 from money in a different fund

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – There are so many mattresses being thrown out illegally in Youngstown that city council is being asked to approve more money to pick them up.

Thursday afternoon along Dewey Avenue — an uninhabited stretch near the I-680 bridge — we found six mattresses on the side of the road, not far from a “no dumping allowed” sign.

“It’s wild, as many as we have seen,” said Mike Yarn.

Yarn has been contracted by the city to pick up discarded mattresses. He met us at Midlothian and Southern boulevards, where there was another one.

He also had pictures of others, one including his truck piled high. Yarn has picked up as many as 25 mattresses in a day. The city pays him $20 a mattress.

“Yes, I have a jumpsuit. I take latex gloves, I also have a mask. I got glasses so it’s better. So yes, I have things to protect me because of bed bugs,” he said.

“We’ve done more since March than we did for three years prior,” said Youngstown Health Commissioner Erin Bishop.

Bishop says in 2017, the city picked up 188 mattresses. In 2018 it was 213, followed by 219 in 2019. But just since March of this year, there have been 1,162.

Usually, the city spends $20,000 a year picking up mattresses. Bishop is asking city council to appropriate an additional $45,000 from money in a different fund.

“You know, it’s definitely a different year this year. I think a lot of people are home doing cleanouts. I think people did get some extra money and maybe that’s what they did with some of their money, was go out and buy a new bed,” Bishop said.

Bishop said the proper way to discard a mattress is by putting it in a plastic bag. Still, garbage companies often won’t pick them up because they take up too much room. The mattresses Yarn picks up eventually end up in a landfill.

If you live in Youngstown and have a bagged mattress but can’t get anyone to pick it up, call the Youngstown Health Department at 330-743-3333 and they’ll get it done.

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