New Castle News

March 25, 2013

New Visions volunteers collect trash from downtown streets

Susan Urbanek Linville
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — It was too cold to feel like spring on Saturday morning.

That didn’t stop people from participating in a New Visions-sponsored spring cleaning project. The first of a series of downtown clean-up missions this year, “Sweep the Street” attracted 20 energetic workers armed with gloves, boots and trash bags.

“Our town needs our love and attention,” Marilyn Lockwood said as she gathered litter at the corner of Jefferson and North streets.

Saturday’s goal was to collect trash along North Street and the surrounding alleyways from Neshannock Avenue to the Columbus Innerbelt. About 40 bags of trash and five bags of recyclables were collected.

“The Clean and Green team hopes to bolster pride in our community by tackling trash, adding color and greenery, and looking at environmentally friendly and sustainable practices for the future,” New Visions member and landscape architect Mary Burris said. “New Castle has great resources, good people and a rich history of hard work and community spirit. I am proud to be involved in helping make New Castle the great city I know it can be.”

Adam Treelisky tackled an ankle deep pile of debris in a stairwell. “We need to be seen instead of heard,” he said. “Actions equal results.”

The clean-up team not only gathered street trash, it also tackled the wooded hillside east of the new police station. There participants recovered paper wrappers, bottles and cans, as well as old inner tubes, plastic bags and milk jugs, tarps and a baby seat.

“We picked up a lot of trash,” said Rhonda DeFelice. “Hopefully, next time we’ll have more volunteers and less trash. It’d be great to raise awareness and community pride so that soon we won’t need to do this.”

Large trash items weren’t the only focus. Streets and sidewalks were littered with non-biodegradable cigarette butts. Local comedian Johnny Dam collected a quarter-bag from the New Castle Public Library entrance.

New Visions thanked New Castle Mayor Anthony Mastrangelo and Jerry Zona of Tri-County CleanWays for their support and providing bags, gloves, work vests, and collection equipment. Mike Rooney, director of public works, is coordinating the trash pickup.

Another “Sweep the Street” day will be held April 27. Everyone is invited to meet at 11 a.m. Washington Centre to help clean up the downtown.

New Visions also is having its second Cash Mob downtown April 6. Participants will meet at 11 a.m. at Washington Centre and will be given the name of a local business, where each group member will be asked to spend at least $20. Afterward, participants are encouraged to eat lunch downtown. There also will be a $25 gift certificate raffle that day.