North Lewisburg officials are concerned that a community service program is being abused.
Nearly 10 years into the village’s community clean-up program, the quantity of rubbish being collected is increasing, which is opposite of what should be expected village administrator Andy Yoder said at Tuesday night’s village council meeting.
“We just don’t understand why it continues to grow,” Mayor Cheryl Hollingsworth said.
The most recent spring clean-up week, held May 10-17, took in 32.62 tons of rubbish, more than 65,000 pounds of garbage. Recent figures put the North Lewisburg population in the neighborhood of 1,400 residents, meaning the clean-up day took in roughly the equivalent of 45 pounds of rubbish for every man, woman and child in the village.
The village contracts to have dumpsters put in the park during the clean-up week and tries to have employees monitor what is being discarded and ensure only village residents are using the service. But even with controls in place, the village is having trouble staying ahead of the volume of garbage being dropped off.
Yoder said five large dumpsters in the park were empty on the morning of Saturday, May 11, only to be filled by midday. And the cost for the disposal of the rubbish continues to climb, topping $5,000 this year.
More troubling than the cost, to Yoder, is the fact that the investment of public dollars does not seem to be having it’s intended result. The tons of garbage collected has increased since 2010.
Yoder provided figures, in tons, showing how collection of rubbish has grown through the years:
•2010 – 20 tons
•2011 – 13 tons
•2012 – 17 tons
•2013 – 17 tons
•2014 – 16 tons
•2015 – 18 tons
•2016 – 27 tons
•2017 – 24 tons
•2018 – 28 tons
Yoder said, ideally, this far into a clean-up program, residents would have removed most of the large junk items from their homes and the tons of garbage would be decreasing.
“Each year, we should be seeing less and less and less,” Yoder said. “We are seeing more and more and more.”
Compounding the issue is the fact that village residents are allowed to schedule the pick-up of one bulk item, such as a piece of furniture, per month as part of their trash collection fees. Yoder explained that this means each residence could have 12 large items removed per year as part of their regular trash collection, but instead wait to discard them during clean-up week when the village must pay for disposal.
On top of this, officials said some residents seem to be discarding regular household trash in the dumpsters, when it could be placed curbside. It was mentioned in the meeting that one resident brought eight truckloads of debris to the dumpsters this year, after dropping off 11 last year.
“The community may be taking advantage of the situation,” Yoder said.
The administrator said council might want to consider changing the parameters of the clean-up program, possibly reducing the number of days dumpsters are in place.
As part of the program, the village also took in 3,900 pounds of scrap metal which will be recycled. Yoder said the profits from the sale of the scrap will go to the village firework show.
Council also voted to donate $1,000 to the firework show, which will take place on June 29 this year.
In other business, council:
-Learned that the additional cameras for the village park should be received soon, as there was a delay created by the vendor of the devices.
-Heard that complaints about ATVs driving on village streets are increasing. It was noted that officers can have such vehicles towed if they are found being driven on streets.
-Learned that hydrant flushing should take place next week, which could result in temporary low water pressure.
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