City prepares for spring cleaning

EAST LIVERPOOL-Spring cleaning in East Liverpool is serious business.

What started 18 years ago as a way to dispose of hazardous household waste has turned into a citywide event with a name and a growing roster of sponsors.

CitySweep 2014 will unite a host of organizations on April 26 toward a common goal, Mayor James Swoger said. “What it does is it cleans up our town,” he said.

Started in 1997 by Heritage Thermal Services (then WTI), CitySweep is a way for East Liverpool residents to dispose of their household waste-hazardous and non-hazardous-and for downtown businesses to clean up their storefronts, officials said.

Public and private sector leaders gathered at Swoger’s office on Friday to announce details about the cleanup event, including ways that it will be expanded this year.

New elements of CitySweep include a drug take-back program and a storefront cleanup initiative in downtown East Liverpool, officials said.

“It’s a tremendous project, so I encourage everyone to take advantage of it,” Swoger said.

The core event of CitySweep is the collection of household hazardous wastes, old electronics and, for the first time, unused pharmaceuticals at Heritage Thermal Services, 1250 St. George St., from 8 a.m. to noon April 26.

“Since our first collection in 1997, we have recycled and disposed of more than 121 tons of household chemical wastes and old electronic goods that otherwise would have been tossed in the trash or dumped into the local water supply,” said Christy Pease, administrative services analyst at Heritage.

Up to 10 gallons or 25 pounds of household waste per vehicle will be accepted, including household cleaners, lawn and garden chemicals, pool chemicals, aerosol cans and antifreeze, paint and paint products, solvents, batteries, light bulbs, computer components, TVs and unused/expired pharmaceuticals.

Members of Heritage’s Relay for Life team will be there to collect old cellphones, which either will be recycled or refurbished for resale, Pease said.

During the collection, Heritage will distribute $5,000 in grants for qualifying environmental projects and announce the winners of the third annual environmental essay contest.

“Since the program began in 1998, more than 100 organizations have received more than $62,000 in grants,” Pease said.

Also participating in the drug take-back program are the East Liverpool Police Department and the East Liverpool City Hospital’s Pharmacy Department. Residents will be able to drop off their unused medications simply by pulling up to the hospital on the day of CitySweep, said Karen Reaggle, certified pharmacy technician at ELCH.

The hospital also will accept mercury thermometers and replace them with digital ones, Reaggle said.

The city is participating in CitySweep through the police department, the street department, and the refuse and recycling department. Non-hazardous household waste will be accepted at the East End Car Barn, 1253 Pennsylvania Ave., from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 26.

Appliances will be accepted at the Car Barn as long as they do not contain freon, said Ryan Estell, city service-safety director.

Downtown members of the Southern Columbiana County Regional Chamber of Commerce will be asked to participate in CitySweep by removing “earth related” materials-rocks, leaves, road salt, etc.-from their storefronts and putting the refuse in the street. From 4-6 p.m. April 26, city street sweepers will come by and remove it, said Todd Alexander, president of the Chamber of Commerce board of directors.

Assisting with CitySweep will be East Liverpool High School students, as well as students and faculty from Kent State University-East Liverpool.