Spring is here: time to take out the trash

It looks like spring has finally arrived and while the green grass, blossoming trees, blooming flowers, blue skies and sunshine make our surroundings look better, they also make the appearance of trash and litter more obvious.

Several towns in our county sponsor annual cleanups where residents can place large unwanted items and yard debris on their curb lawns for collection by municipal employees. Some restrictions may apply, but for the most part, residents can rid themselves of unneeded old appliances, furniture, tires and other cumbersome pieces of junk, rather than allowing these items to collect on their property.

Columbiana has sponsored a very popular cleanup for years and on the night prior to the collection of the castoffs, vehicles can be seen cruising up and down the city streets looking to see if someone else’s trash might actually be a treasure to them.

Salem and Perry Township recently placed two large Dumpsters in a municipal parking lot and allowed residents to bring items such as furniture, appliances and electronics for disposal. The response was so overwhelming that organizers had to bring in a third Dumpster. East Palestine also had a similar cleanup and residents have been expressing gratitude for this benefit.

Former Councilwoman Mary Lou Popa, is again advocating a citywide cleanup for Salem, stating “we owe this to the city residents.” Salem formerly sponsored a cleanup which featured curbside pickup, but suspended it several years ago due to the high cost to the city for the service. The recent dropoff, which was subsidized by the Carroll-Columbiana-Harrison Solid Waste District, was appreciated, but some city residents apparently want more.

During the recent economic downturn, we understood why Salem discontinued the citywide cleanup, but now things are turning around, thanks to the money the city has received from leasing mineral rights during the shale boom. Now may be the time for city officials to reconsider reinstating Salem’s curbside junk pickup. Not only does the elimination of unsightly trash from people’s yards make the town look better, this service fosters goodwill among the residents.

Salem should bring their pickup service back, and other towns which do not sponsor similar cleanups should consider providing this benefit to their residents.