Updated Fri, Apr 11, 2014 1:29 pm
Athens County could look a bit more pristine come Monday morning.
A number of cleanup events — including Athens Beautification Day — are being held this weekend, and there will be opportunities for people to properly dispose of trash and recyclables.
Beautification Day, sponsored by Ohio University Student Senate, provides opportunities for students and community members to work together to spruce up the city. There will be litter pickup and other projects.
Registration begins Sunday at 11:30 a.m. at Scripps Amphitheater on the OU campus, and projects will take place throughout the afternoon.
Saturday’s events include a free scrap tire drop-off from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Wayne National Forest headquarters on Route 33, between The Plains and Nelsonville.
The event has the capacity to collect up to 1,200 scrap tires, which will later be recycled. Once the goal is reached, no more tires will be accepted.
“The Wayne National Forest is excited to partner again this year with Athens County to help collect scrap tires from the local community,” said forest spokesman Garry Chancey.
The Athens City-County Health Department, through a grant from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, will have trailers to accept the tires at the Wayne headquarters, as well as at cleanup events planned in Alexander and Lodi Twps., according to Mike Cooper of the health department.
Tire collection events are for residents, not for tire shops or garages to dispose of tires.
The Alexander Twp. trustees are having their annual cleanup day Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the township garage, 8711 Harner Road. In addition to tires, the township will accept trash, furniture, batteries and other items, excluding yard waste. Proof of township residency will be required.
Lodi Twp.’s cleanup day is Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the township garage on Fossil Rock Road. Besides disposing of tires, township residents can take trash and furniture to the event. The township trustees are asking residents to clean up road frontage at their houses and take their collected trash to the township garage.
Recyclables can be taken to the cleanups in Alexander and Lodi Twps., as well as to events in Jacksonville and at Ferndale Park in Torch, according to Athens County Commissioner Chris Chmiel, who also is on the board of Athens-Hocking Recycling Centers Inc.
Jacksonville Mayor Tony McNickle said the village is having a cleanup from 8 a.m. to noon.
“We’re trying to spruce it up a little bit,” McNickle said of the village.
Litter will be picked up along roadways, McNickle said, and recyclables and trash can be taken to Jacksonville Park. He said the event is not for regular household trash, but for residents to clean up their properties. Tires can also be disposed of at the event.
In Ferndale Park, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., work will be done to clean up the ball fields and repair fences for the upcoming baseball season, according to Ryan Grimm, baseball commissioner. Volunteers will also pick up litter and recyclables along roadways, he said. Residents also can get rid of old tires.
Besides the organized events, people can pick up litter in front of their properties and in their neighborhoods.
However, Cooper said that in the case of illegal dumps, people should not clean them up but should instead notify him at the health department or Athens County Sheriff’s Deputy Jennifer Atkins.
“We really don’t want people to remove evidence at the dump site,” Cooper said. “We have to document and photograph everything in place at the dump site.”
Chmiel said he’s trying to put together a program so that signs can be erected to recognize families, organizations and businesses that adopt county and township roads for litter pickup. He said he hopes such signs will discourage littering.