CLEVELAND — Cleveland community groups from the Shaker Square, South Moreland and Buckeye neighborhoods report trash and litter issues are plaguing their streets, parks and businesses.
Moreland's Group volunteer Joanne Blanchard pointed to chronically overflowing garbage cans near neighborhood bus stops and businesses. Blanchard said she's been picking trash in her community for years and said the packed city garbage cans are contributing to a growing roadside litter issue.
“I do see a lot, unfortunately, a lot of trash,” Blanchard said. “There is a very big littering problem. I pick up in the park when I walk my dog.”
Chip Bromley, Director of the Shaker Square Alliance, told News 5 the City of Cleveland needs to provide more consistent garbage collection services for city waste cans.
“Well it looks terrible; I mean you look up and down South Moreland and it just looks awful," Bromley said. “The problem is there’s really no systemic answer other than people taking it on by themselves.”
“Invest in better trash cans. In San Francisco they have sensors in their trash cans, these sensors let the city know the trash is filling up. We also want the trash cans picked up on a more regular basis. So if it’s once a week, then it should be twice a week, it should be three times a week. The reality is, the city doesn’t have the resources to do that job.”
“The key is to have a small tax levy among the apartment owners and the commercial owners, and that money provides the resources for ambassadors for picking up trash.”
Buckeye neighborhood activist Rob Render sent pictures of overflowing city garbage cans to News 5 on March 16. Render said the city responded and emptied the cans the next day. However, News 5 found some of the cans overflowing once again on March 18.
Render said if the trash can issues aren't solved soon, it will further hurt local businesses.
“So I look at Buckeye and I say to myself, it’s dark, it’s dirty, it’s dingy, it’s disgusting." Render said. “And it’s a calamity, and you ask yourself, it’s a huge problem, why would I want to go to and patronize a business if there is trash all over the place?"
Render said his east side Cleveland community will be launching its "Nehemiah Project" in May. The program will activate volunteers for trash and litter pick-up, and will be led by several local churches and organizations.
Meanwhile, Blanchard said a solution to the trash and litter problem is rooted in community awareness and a new mindset. Blanchard issued a message to visitors and residents in her neighborhood.
“It makes it appear that the area’s neglected, that anything can go and it’s a downward spiral,” Blanchard said. “Please don’t litter. If you don’t want it in your car, why do you think we want it on the street?”