EPA grants to clean up litter, tires

More than $22,000 in state money has been awarded to local programs to clean up litter and tires in Clark County.

Pike Twp. will see $15,000, the Clark County Combined Health District will receive $4,000 and the Clark County Waste Management District will get $3,300, according to Heather Lauer, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

The Ohio EPA awarded more than $527,000 to 45 communities statewide for litter cleanups and tire amnesties.

The local governments that receive the grants are expected to incorporate litter collection events, community awareness programming or opportunities for residents to properly dispose of old tires, according to Lauer.

Clark County Health Commissioner Charles Patterson said the health district plans to use the money to clean up or sweep the Mad River.

Patterson said health district officials along with area conservationists and law enforcement work together to improve water quality and the health and safety of a seven- to eight-mile stretch of the Mad River.

“The grant is mainly for the disposal of the waste along the way,” Patterson said.

Patterson said officials go boating in the river and pick up waste and note the location of tires, washing machines and other large items that will be picked up later.

“The main point is to get the solid waste and get it up and out of that corridor,” he said.

The Clark County Waste Management District plans to use the money it receives for the 2014 Great American Cleanup. The Clark County Waste Management Coordinator Steve Schlather said the Ohio EPA funding has increased from a limit of between $2,000 to $2,500 to $3,300.

“We’re pleased to get it. It helps us get the supplies (trash bags, gloves, etc.) we need,” he said.

Volunteers for the Great American Cleanup pick up litter and beautify public places, such as parks, roadways, playgrounds and river banks.

Last year, the program had nearly 1,900 volunteers who cleaned parks, roadsides, school grounds, bike paths and other areas, Schlather said.

For more information about the program or to participate in the cleanup, which occurs between March 1 and May 31, call 937-521-2025 or visit www.trash.org.

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