Councilman to target dumping

WARREN – Hundreds of discarded tires, construction materials and other debris has a councilman asking the city administration to work with him to find solutions to the littering along Risher Road, Martin Luther King Boulevard, Peerless Street and other nearby streets.

“There are hundreds, possibly thousands of tires, construction material and garbage thrown on the sides of roads,” Councilman Eddie Colbert, D-7th Ward, said.

“Based on the amount of tires and basic household furniture found on the sides of some roads, I do not believe that a lot of this is coming from Warren residents,” Colbert said. “There is no reason for a resident to load a truck with household furniture and other furniture and dump it, because our garbage department will pick up just about anything left on their curb.

“No resident is dropping off hundreds of tires and construction material,” he said. “It is definitely private companies.”

Colbert expressed frustration that no matter how often people work to clean up different parts of the city – especially on the southwest side – the garbage, construction materials and tires always seem to return.

“I’ve personally have gone out on Martin Luther King Boulevard on two occasions with residents to pick up tires and other trash,” he said. “I’m not doing it again until we look for legislative ways to address this problem.”

While Colbert acknowledges that legislative ideas should come from council, he said that administrative officials come in contact more often with those from other cities who may have ideas.

Colbert suggest the administration may look at finding ways to limit access to some areas where dumping is commonplace because there are so few homes. Among them are neighborhoods around the former Warren Western Reserve and near Deemer Park on the city’s southwest sides.

Mayor Doug Franklin said he shares the councilman’s frustration.

“It is not a new problem and it is not only on the city’s southwest side,” Franklin said. “There are other areas of the city in which dumping is a concern.”

Franklin’s immediate reaction to work with the city’s environmental services department, Trumbull Geauga Solid Waste District and other agencies that have expertise to search for answers.

“We have to catch some of the people doing the dumping,” Franklin said. “We have to show we will catch and prosecute those committing this crime.”

Franklin is asking residents to keep their eyes and ears open and to report any suspicious incidents of vehicles that are not supposed to be their areas.

“These people are dumping their loads in areas that are dark and isolated for a reason,” Franklin said.

The city’s sanitation department, working with Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership, will pick up construction equipment and tires from the Martin Luther King Jr. and Risher Road area next Monday through Thursday.

“We were contacted by Leann O’Brien of the city’s Environmental Services Department, who asked if we could use some of our people from municipal court program,” Matt Martin of TNP said. “We agreed.”

Martin said if there are community or church groups that want to volunteer and help with the cleanup, they should call his office at 330-599-9275.

Councilman Alford Novak, D-2nd Ward, agrees that dumping is a problem all over the city, saying that there has traditionally been significant dumping in the Griswold neighborhoods.

He said he is not sure if there is a legislative solution, because there already are laws against dumping on the books.

Until they are able to reduce the amount of dumping of tires, for example, Colbert said the city should look out of the box and make what has been a negative into a positive by finding companies that may recycle the tires into rubberized gravel that are used in some playgrounds or as temporary hot patch on streets.

“If we cannot sell them, at least they will not be a burden,” he said.