Colerain Township looks a little better blanketed in snow, Stephanie Wright said Wednesday. It covers up many of the things she said she’d usually find by the side of the street: Dirty diapers, sacks of garbage and abandoned furniture in need of a new home or a ride to the dump.
She’s been snapping photos of all of it as she drives around her community, where she and others believe littering and illegal dumping are underaddressed and everywhere. She’s reported it to the township government, too.
“With garbage, once you see it, you can’t stop seeing it,” she said.
Wright showed WCPO pictures of dumped sofas, appliances, overflowing dumpsters at businesses and trash piled up at donation boxes.
“If you have time to post a picture of litter on Facebook, you have time to pick up litter,” said township administrator Geoff Milz.
Milz added he agrees litter is a problem, and improving the look of the township is among local government’s top priorities for 2021.
The township has hired two maintenance employees whose job specifically focuses on picking up trash along roadways. It’s also added a police officer who focuses on environmental crimes.
And the overflowing donation boxes are a work in progress, Milz said. In some situations, the boxes sit unattended because the property owner doesn’t know about them.
"We're working on a registration program for donation boxes, so it establishes a person to call, makes sure the property owner knows that they're there,” Milz said.
Property owners are a key part of the plan moving forward. Milz said one of the community’s biggest dumping sites, a vacant Kroger building, has been cleaned up significantly since the township got in touch with its owner.
He hopes more Colerain residents will become an active part of the effort to reduce litter in their community.
"Stop trashing Colerain Township,” she said. “We have what we have and we need to take care of it. There's no excuse for littering."