City cleans up well

  • By Rick Shrum April 20, 2013
Washington firefighters Gregory Folrian, left, and Nick Dubina and Councilman Ken Westcott, right, toss bags of trash and debris into a Dumpster as part of Washington annual cleanup day. Volunteers got together to pick up trash around several areas in the city. - Katie Roupe / Observer-Reporter Order a Print

This weekend, Washington mayors past and present did what they pledged to do when they assumed office – clean up the city.

Mayor Brenda Davis and former mayor Ken Westcott were among those who volunteered for Washington’s annual cleanup day, which was something of a misnomer in that it actually occurred Friday evening and Saturday morning and early afternoon.

But by any name, the event was a sweet success. “There were well over 100 bags of garbage collected,” Davis said.

She was among seven volunteers who raked leaves, pulled weeds and picked up trash at the West End playground, corner of Baird Avenue and Broad Street, Friday evening.

“I wanted to show I care,” Davis said. “And some people who helped don’t even live here. They’re from Canton Township, and they showed they care. That’s overwhelming.”

Cleanup day at the playground was supposed to be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday as well as at two other sites – Tylerdale fire hall and St. Paul AME Church on Ridge Avenue. Neighborhood crime watches had agreed to participate, and according to the mayor, Friday evening was better for the West End group.

Vests, gloves and trash bags were distributed at the three sites, where Dumpsters were placed Saturday morning.

Residents who wanted to clean their neighborhoods could pick up vests, gloves and bags at City Hall. They could deposit filled bags in those Dumpsters or place them at the curb near their homes, where Westcott and other volunteers would pick them up.

“All three Dumpsters were full,” Westcott said midafternoon Saturday.

He was mayor during the city’s first cleanup day in the late 1990s and said “this event has been successful” over the years.

Westcott, now a councilman, praised the four volunteers who collected and hoisted about 25 full bags into the back of his truck, then helped deposit the trash into the Dumpster at the Tylerdale firehouse. He said they gathered debris along Sammy Angott Way and under the Interstate 70 bridge along Donnen Avenue.

All told, he said, about 40 bags were picked up in Tylerdale.

“I think the weather kept folks home,” Westcott said, referring to the crisp conditions that may have limited the number of participants in the Tylerdale area. But, he quickly added, high quality accompanied the low quantity.

“We appreciate the volunteers who did come out. Without the service groups, volunteers and residents, we wouldn’t be able to accomplish as much as we do.”

Rick Shrum joined the Observer-Reporter as a business reporter in 2012. Previously, he was a section editor, sports reporter and copy editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Rick has won numerous awards, including a Golden Quill, an O-R staff Golden Quill award, and four other writing awards during his 40 plus years working for daily newspapers. A lifelong Pittsburgher, he is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh.


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