Dispose of waste responsibly

Published 11:52 am Friday, April 14, 2017

When you do a search for the definition of “environmental” on the Internet, it tells you that it’s “relating to the natural world and the impact of human activity on its condition, relating to or arising from a person’s surroundings.”

As the Environmental Director for the City of Ironton Health Department, it is my job to protect not only the citizens of Ironton, but their surroundings as well.  However, it is the homeowner, property owner and property tenant’s responsibility to take care of their property and surroundings.

The disposal of trash and hazardous materials should be done in a way that is both safe and environmentally friendly. With this being said, disposing of furniture and other items in the alley is not a safe or environmentally-friendly action.  Not only is this a nuisance, but it is unsightly and a sure way to attract rodents and varmints into the neighborhood, who, once there, creates their own problems.

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In the short time I have been with the City of Ironton Health Department, I have had reported to me items such as furniture, mattresses, appliances, building materials, brush, and household trash called in as complaints, just to name a few. Putting items in the alley is not the correct manner of which to dispose of said items.

Once these items are placed in the alley, they become a nuisance and once we get a call about the item, we have to take action.

Once we go out and verify a complaint is valid, a letter is mailed to the property owner stating they have five days to correct the complaint.

Failure to do so requires us to take action, which means an assessment to the property taxes of a minimum $500 assessed to the property taxes.

It’s the same thing for brush and building debris.  For brush, the City of Ironton has an area designated for just that, they just have to call and make arrangements for it to be unlocked. As for a mattress, when purchasing a new one, most retailers will dispose of the old one for you, free of charge.

Building materials and debris should be discussed with your contractor. If he isn’t taking responsibility for removing, you need to.

We have one earth. We all make an impact. It’s up to each of us to take care of it, starting with our own backyards and neighborhoods.


Bobbi Conrad is the new director of environmental health for the City of Ironton Health Department. She can be contacted at 740-532-2172.