Volunteers committed to Earth Day cleanup

East Liverpool Planning Director Kayla Crowl, armed with a trash bag, turned community volunteer as part of the city’s neighborhood cleanup Saturday near the area’s East End. (Photo by Stephanie Ujhelyi)

EAST LIVERPOOL — Saturday’s rain dampened turnout for East Liverpool’s annual city cleanup, but volunteers still appeared committed to improving their neighborhoods.

The event was sponsored by Mayor Ryan Stovall and FRX Health, the city’s medical marijuana dispensary.

Councilman Brian Kerr, who was one of the volunteers for Stovall’s event along with his wife Monica, said, “We have a good effort going here, and it is nice to see people showing pride in their community.”

Stovall said there was three formal groups, or 30 to 50 people, who met up at Devon’s Diamond at 8 a.m. before dispersing to their assignments. In addition to Kerr and his party, which tackled the western most area of state Route 39, East Liverpool Municipal Court Judge Melissa Byers-Emmerling and her community service workers headed over to Jennings Avenue to tackle that area, while Mayor Stovall’s contingent, which included city employees like Planning Director Kayla Crowl, focused on the area closer to the East end.

While the majority of the refuse picked up included fast food restaurant containers and soda bottles, some of the bottles didn’t necessarily contain soda as Crowl inadvertently learned after finding two bottles that appeared to contain urine in them.

Stovall said while cleaning the east ramp Saturday morning to Kerr, “(The litter) was worst than I thought it was,” as the two men commisserated on how the quick mow by employees prior to Saturday’s event made the litter pickup somewhat more difficult as it was now chopped up from the mower and slippery from the rain.

“We have been the city cleanup for 15 years now,” he said, adding that with the availability of the claw truck on a regular basis, the City Sweep event, which is set for next week, is now more about hazardous materials than discarding large, cumbersome items. “With our claw truck, people can know call and get their items taken throughout the year,” Stovall concluded.