The snow has melted, the spring flowers are blooming and the tree buds are beginning to pop. After a long Cleveland winter, it is marvelous to witness the greening of our surroundings. Unfortunately, spring’s beauty is marred by the wind-blown, carelessly discarded or criminally-dumped litter and debris that seems to be ubiquitous. Unbelievable quantities of paper, plastic, debris and tires in parking lots, along stream corridors and in our neighborhoods is, quite frankly, disgusting.
Sadly, not only is litter and trash an environmental issue, it is an economic one as well. Litterers and illegal dumpers, and those that conspire with them, place an unwelcome burden on society and it is infuriating!
Fortunately there is good news! First, a big "thank you" to all of those civic-minded volunteers who get involved in neighborhood and stream cleanup events. We appreciate your outstanding commitment to the environment. Please know that your efforts are not in vain. And now, here is some great news: The newly-formed Cuyahoga County Environmental Crimes Task Force is on the trail of illegal dumpers!
Coordinated by the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District, with strong support from the City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, dumpers need to be aware that they will be prosecuted (as a few illegal dumpers recently found out!) and convicted!!!! So, if you see someone illegally dumping, call 911 with a description of the suspect or vehicle. If you wish to be anonymous, contact the task force by dialing 311.
And don’t forget that we all can help keep our neighborhoods clean and green. Here’s how you can help!
- Recycle, reuse and reduce! Check with your city hall or the Cuyahoga Solid Waste District about recycling days
- Take a moment and make sure your litter and trash actually gets into the trash cans
- Take old tires to a reputable dealer for disposal
- If you see someone dumping, report it. If you can, take photos, get license numbers. If you see dumping or illegal landfille operating call 911. Cleveland has a hotline: 216-664-3867
- Compost now! Compost, one of nature's best mulches and soil amendments, is cheap and you can make it without spending a cent. Plus, compost improves soil structure, texture, and aeration and increases the soil's water-holding capacity, improves soil fertility and stimulates healthy root development in plants
- And finally, please plant flowers, not litter.