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The Van Wert County Courthouse

Saturday, Sep. 23, 2017

DAVE MOSIER/independent editor

Van Wert residents had the opportunity to spruce up their properties — and clean out unwanted items — on Saturday during a Clean Up Day sponsored by the City of Van Wert and the Van Wert Solid Waste Management District.

Van Wert City Council President Pete Weir (right) gets ready to give Fourth Ward Councilman Steve Trittschuh a carpet pad brought to the Van Wert Recycling Center as part of the city’s Clean Up Day. Dave Mosier/Van Wert independent

Volunteers and Van Wert Recycling Center employees provided assistance to those bringing unwanted items to the center. Items dropped off Saturday included appliances, mattresses, unwanted furniture, scrap metal and wood, carpet, and other miscellaneous goods. In fact, Recycling Center Director Jerry Neumeier said one man came in three times to drop off unwanted items.

Van Wert Mayor Jerry Mazur was pleased with the turnout, and said it’s something he’d like to do annually — or even more often.

“It’s important to me because it lends itself to the efforts of the land bank (Van Wert County Land Reutilization Corporation),” the mayor noted. “This gives people the opportunity to get stuff out of their backyards and to a dump site without having to pay a large fee.”

Mayor Mazur, who has made it a priority to support initiatives aimed at cleaning up Van Wert — including tougher enforcement of trash and weed ordinances, as well as demolishing unsafe and unsightly buildings — said he would like to do a Clean Up Day annually, and possibly even monthly, if funds could be found to do so.

Neumeier said Saturday’s event cost approximately $3,800, with most of that funding the rental of several large dumpsters. Volunteers, including City Council President Pete Weir and Councilmen Ken Markward and Steve Trittschuh, did much of the heavy lifting for the event, while Recycling Center and Van Wert city employees also helped with the event.

Neumeier said $3,500 for the event came from an Ohio Environmental Protection Agency litter prevention development grant, with the remainder paid by the city.

Because the EPA provided most of the funding for the project, items prohibited by the EPA could not be accepted. Those include vehicle tires, gasoline, and electronic items, such as televisions.

One thing not included in the grant was labor costs, Neumeier added.

The Recycling Center director said he thought the inaugural Clean Up Day went very well.

“Right now, I’m very pleased,” Neumeier said.

POSTED: 09/11/17 at 7:26 am. FILED UNDER: News