Spring cleaning the city

STEUBENVILLE – Sara Provenzano crouched down to pull the litter from beneath shrubbery bordering a sidewalk.

“I’m out here today because this is our neighborhood and I want to help clean it up,” the Pleasant Heights resident said Saturday morning.

Provenzano was one of a number of volunteers to spend two hours on a sunny but chilly day picking up litter during the annual Hilltop spring cleaning campaign.

“My fiancee is on another street picking up litter. We want people to know we take pride in our area. Hopefully we will keep the neighborhood clean for awhile. And maybe inspire other people to help keep the neighborhood clean,” Provenzano said.

A few blocks away, Code Enforcement Officer Shawn Scott was supervising volunteers picking up discarded tires.

The four man crew had arrived at a tire drop off site at State and Union streets to find a huge pile of old tires.

“This will probably take us three trips to get all of these. But we publicized that this was an official drop off site and it is actually easier when the tires are left here instead of scattered everywhere,” explained Scott.

“We usually average about 1,000 tires every year during the collection campaigns. We are taking these to the trailer at Lincoln and Wilson avenues and from there they will be taken to the Lasting Mulch Company where the tires are shredded and recycled into mulch,” Scott said.

“We do this tire collection every year in conjunction with the JB Green Team, and I have noticed the number of discarded tires is starting to decrease. If we can just get people to save their tires for the official collections we will have a cleaner city,” declared Scott.

“We are also putting the people who are dumping trash on the hilltop on notice. Anyone caught dumping trash will face littering charges. I am also urging residents to make sure their trash is in a plastic bag and put in a trash can with the lid secured. This is not a dumping area,” stressed Scott.

Asantewa Anyalowile could not agree more.

“A van came through the neighborhood last night and two men left a pile of trash on the street. We aren’t going to put up with that anymore. This is our neighborhood where good people live. This is not a place to dump trash,” she said.

Andrew Radlicz and Zygmunt Gross, both Franciscan University of Steubenville students, were part of a 20 student team that were working in the LaBelle and Pleasant Heights hilltop neighborhoods.

“We are trying to be good stewards for the environment. As members of Enactus, a university student organization and as Catholics we are called to set a good example. Hopefully our work today will serve as an example for other residents and more people will be called to take better care of the environment,” stated Radlicz.

Faith and Athanasius Sirilla were walking along Belleview Boulevard picking up litter when they could find it.

“We want to keep our neighborhood clean,” said Athanasius.

“And we want to make this a safe and clean neighborhood,”added his sister, Faith.

“We have been doing this for the past five or more years. We do our part to keep our street clean,” noted their father Mike Sirilla.

His wife Laura Sirilla, who is the president of the Hilltop Community Development Corp., didn’t let a broken foot slow her down Saturday.

“I was actually driving around asking our neighbors to join us. I am very grateful to everyone who came out on a chilly day to help with the cleanup. This is a good way to see spring arrive. I have met new people on the hilltop. And I hope we will see even more people during our fall cleanup,” said Laura.

Following the two hour cleanup the volunteers gathered for an appreciation luncheon where they ate hot dogs, beans, chips and cookies from the Steubenville Bakery.

“I was very pleased with the number of volunteers we had today. Approximately 60 people came out and we assigned them to certain streets that needed a good cleaning and we all made a difference by working together,” cited Litter Committee Chairperson Teresa DiCarlantonio.