A lot of people around here have taken the propagandistic tack of denying structural problems of the ghetto-ization of Toledo. Well, honesty is always the best policy. Want to really fix the problem of trash blowing around Toledo, not just perform some pointless cleanup at some location with fellow yuppies? Identify the sources of trash and eliminate them. As the "Friends of the Los Angeles River" organization has said, the best strategy to reduce trash depends on where that trash originates. That's the only thing that works.
Source #1: Overfilled or un-capped commercial trash bins.
Solution for #1: Contact the business in question and get a hold of the manager and owner. Document all contact. If efforts to stop the overfilling or open containers at that level don't work after a few months, then fill out an online Nuisance Abatement complaint form with the City of Toledo government. Follow up on it.
Source #2: Dumping at abandoned lots.
Solution for #2: Much like in Source #1, contact the lot owner and urge her to clean it up. Urge her to also install fencing. Even a sign against dumping is better than nothing. However, even with or without efforts, if the lot remains a dumping ground, then you must eventually make a Nuisance Abatement complaint. Follow up on it.
Source #3: Evictions and other move-outs leaving material curbside.
Solution for #3: An eviction or move-out usually leaves no one left who cares about the pile of stuff left at the curb, and rummagers and scrappers often tear the stuff apart, opening the stuff to the elements, producing a large source of neighborhood trash. Clean that stuff up by any means possible. Don't re-bag the stuff, since the rummagers and scrappers will just tear them open again. Consider re-bagging and throwing the stuff away in your own bins, including bins used by neighbors and especially the bins at empty neighbors. If you know the landlord well, contact him to arrange city pickup (each address is allowed 1 free "bulky pickup" per quarter), but likely you won't have that contact information and must then make a Nuisance Abatement complaint. Note if making the complaint by phone, you might be dissuaded from doing so by the call taker; DON'T LET THAT HAPPEN. Abandoned trash isn't a Sanitation Department issue, it's a Nuisance Abatement issue. Emphasize it's a nuisance. Note the online form doesn't argue with you, hint hint. Note also for a nuisance complaint, you should really wait at least 2 weeks to let the landlord possibly clean up the eviction pile himself.
Source #4: Slovenly residences that leave trash on own property.
Solution for #4: Contact the residents and gently remind them of the trash problem. If unsuccessful, contact the landlord. AREIS is useful for this. Continued lack of success means you'll eventually have to make a Nuisance Abatement complaint.
Source #5: Untarped dump trucks.
Solution for #5: Take down the license plate and other identifying information and report the truck to the Toledo Police, general contact number. You may be required to make a personal report at a TPD site (downtown station or Scott Park station).
Source #6: A stretch of open road or highway frequently subjected to dropped debris and trash from traffic.
Solution for #6: Try to observe and document the debris and trash contributors. This may be difficult or impossible to do. Contact ODOT after your data collection effort in order to point out the extreme nature of the debris and trash on that particular stretch of road. Follow up on it.
City of Toledo, Nuisance Abatement
Toledo Police Department, Main Station
525 N Erie St Toledo OH 43604
Ohio Dept. of Transportation (ODOT), District 2 (incl. Lucas County)
Do you readers and posters have any other sources and solutions?
Thanks for the information -- it will be helpful.
I do want to point out that I have lived in wildly different cities over the year, some of which have more robust social control systems and some of which are wide-open regarding regulations and personal behavior. (The list includes Toronto, Rio de Janeiro, Vienna, London, Atlanta, Dallas, Ft. Lauderdale ... and a city in the former Soviet Union).
All of these places have similar zones where trash blows up against roadway, railroad, or boundary fencing and no one removes it, not even the workers who are paid to do so. Since I do a lot of walking, and I've had the leisure time to examine visual pollution, I've noticed a hierarchy of stuff:
Plastic bags of all kinds (including commercial/industrial wrappings
Containers associated with food consumption (clamshells, drink cups, straws, greasy wrappers)
Broken stuff (car parts, unidentifiable plastic chunks, shattered bottles, rubber, old shoes)
Tobacco-related debris: butts, packs, cans, plastic, chaw wads
I think visual trashiness is a problem that accompanies human populations (similar to fleas and bedbugs and cholera if we're drinking our own sewage). I have concluded also that in very "kempt" cities, the trash problem is visible at the border between well-patrolled urban areas and the residential zones ... it would seem that people don't want to spend their free time on a daily basis picking up random stuff blown by the wind into their own neighborhood. But some will pick it up once it reaches their own yard!
Wow, I hate to be a downer, and I admit that I didn't read the post in it's entirety. But, I couldn't get past the part about the online nuisance form. I don't think that the City even looks at those anymore. I've submitted several over the last year without any response or resolution. The City just doesn't seem to care, or have the manpower to enforce anything. Maybe it's just that I don't live on the right side of town? But to me it's just a waste of time. Calling may get better results but as far as I'm concerned the trash has won, let it all ROT. I can already read the posts condemning me as part of the problem, but I am in my 40s, have lived in the same neighborhood my entire life and have been fighting these issues since in my late 20s, the trash has won. I am full of solutions, but who will listen?
Example... when I was a kid we used to have a parking enforcement officer. She would occasionally come down our street and ticket those blocking driveways, parked over sidewalks and in front of fire hydrants. I am certain that the city could make a small fortune if they only enforced the laws that they already have. I live near the University and if I got only 10% of the revenue from the citations that I could issue on any given day, regarding parking, garbage cans left out all week and unkempt properties, I could quit my job and have enough left over to move out of the neighborhood that has kept me so frustrated.
Squid, I have called nuisance abatement @ city of Toledo and they've always been swift in correcting the problem. I also live near UT so call and keep calling if necessary. The process does work in this neighborhood. I call 936-2020 to report.
In fact, I last called about two houses the Friday before Presidents' Day and the problem was quickly solved.
One had a pile of furniture that had been at the curb since early January and the other had a couple boxes of garbage/junk at the curb. I call when I get tired of looking at the mess.
Well I guess that I will try calling again. Maybe that route is better now, but the online form has been a let down recently. Thanks for the number and optimism, it's easy to throw in the towel when it seems as nobody is listening.
BTW 6th_Floor, wouldn't it be nice; if we didn't have to call? if the City acted pro-actively instead of re-actively? Last I heard, water meter readers were supposed to take note of problems. Now I don't blame the meter readers for not becoming code enforcement officers but I tire of laws that are not enforced, yet they always want more laws and regulations.They concoct solutions that never come to fruition. How about Police that drive by blocked fire hydrants and cars parked over sidewalks and driveways? Drive past people walking in the street drinking from open containers. Yes, I have to complain before even obvious infractions are acted upon. Maybe they are encouraged to go easy around here, because the University brings a lot of money into the area? I am going off topic, so I will just place a call next week and see what happens.
I believed I brought up the point of Toledo not bothering to go after code violations but happily putting up red light/speeding cameras all over as part of the "low-hanging fruit" revenue grab. And I even suggested they start enforcement blitzes neighborhood by neighborhood to go after the problems, after making a big public push all over local media to make sure everyone knew they are coming.
Would you believe four dead Christmas trees lying next to somebody's garage (probably one for each of the past four years).
Squid, my friendly advice is that when you do call, try not to sound angry or demanding. Have one or two addresses to report for being a mess. Also, they don't mind if you choose to remain anonymous. When I call I'm calm with the city employee and it has been effective.
One call generated an code enforcement officer showing up the same day to ticket a junk car with flat tires and broken windows on my block that hadn't been moved for a couple months. The resident had the car moved to another location or a nearby junkyard...where it belonged.
I think a good strategy is for one interested person to pick a single offender or event and then document it, following up. Concentrate on one thing. If there are two things in your neighborhood, then con a neighbor to document and follow up on the 2nd thing. It's a distributed principle.
Good advice! ... and I am calmer than I present myself in this forum. It is always best to keep the anger under cover of a calm and respectful demeanor. I learned that many years ago.
Today I picked up a full trash bag of blown in litter from property at Angola/McCord. Two hours of untangling crap from under bushes, caught around trees and snarled in plants. Its Springfield Township. Nobody to complain to nor anybody specific to complain about. Its crap that the 8,000 daily vehicles spew from car windows.
What I really don't understand are the sodden, yellow phone books that have been laying on the ground under my neighbors' mailboxes all winter. Right next door to the Mayor of Holland's house, the honorable Mike Yunker. He passes it every single day, several times a day. If he doesn't give a shit about his community who does?
After a month I picked up and discarded the phone book lying under the mailbox next to mine. I couldn't stand it anymore. But I'll be damned if I'll pick up anymore of them. They're pigs. Just plain pigs.
I used to live next to Starr and 280 and the crap that got blown into our neighborhood from passing cars and general pigginess was unreal. When my kids were still home, I organized the neighborhood kids to help clean up just the south side of Starr from Dover St to the Oregon line twice a year and took them for ice cream afterwards. The first year we were here, The Hub and grandson and I cleaned up the 280 ramps at Walbridge Rd. and then went for breakfast (and just noticed yesterday that they need it again). My southward next door neighbor here is a great guy, but he burns his trash instead of paying for pickup. He has one burn barrel and doesn't burn every week, so some of his stuff blows around his yard and invariably blows into mine. I really think people just don't think about this stuff with the top of their brain. You can't make people care or the environmental activists would be out of a job. :)
We live in the Eleanor/Jackman Road are and I Can't tell ya how many times I see tons of garbage sitting in front of house along the side of the road. Also there is a house right when you turn onto Eleanor (West) from Lewis ave that still have their Christmas lights up....is there something we can do about that? lol
I used the link that GZ listed in his original post to make a complaint to the city about a neighbor's house that is now a rental. The garage had peeling paint all over and looked terrible. I couldn't track down the owner, so I made an anonymous complaint on the website. Two weeks later, someone was out there scraping and painting. Highly recommended if you live in the city of Toledo.
How long ago was this Ace? I have had NO LUCK with the online complaint form recently.
We got a letter today from the City saying that our house was a nuisance. Other than my house needing a new roof, I tend to keep things looking nice. Come to find out, they got our address mixed up with the lady who lives diagonally across from us on the corner. My wife called the City and they apologized and looked up the address on ARIES and confirmed that they got the address wrong.
Funny. I was just about to call the City myself on my neighbor. 3 weeks worth of junk put out at the curb that I think she was hoping someone was going to take. A mattress was added to the pile this morning when I took my trash can to the curb. My wife now tells me that it is all gone.
DaddyG: You ought to ask for a confirmation of the mistake in writing, given the incompetence of the government.