Leetsdale, Aleppo readying for cleanup events

Friday, April 6, 2018 | 11:00 PM

Spring often is a time for homeowners to tidy up their homes and yards to prepare for the summer season.

While people tend to their properties this month, municipalities will hold spring cleaning events of their own.

Leetsdale and Aleppo have scheduled volunteer-driven cleanup efforts that coincide with Earth Day.

On April 14, Aleppo will hold its second annual Earth Day cleanup. The event, which runs from 9 a.m. noon, also has an educational component.

“People will start out here in the township building and see a presentation by a staff member at Fern Hollow Nature Center,” said Aleppo Township Manager Gwen Patterson.

After having doughnuts, attendees will split up into teams for roadside cleanup. Areas of focus include Deer Run Road, which goes from the municipal building to the Interstate 79 interchange, as well as Rockledge Drive, Sewickley Heights Drive and Sewickley Ridge Drive.

Patterson expects at least 20 people to turn out for the event. Last year, Fern Hollow's presentation attracted several families with children.

“The theme of national Earth Day this year is plastics. They're going to do a presentation that combines the idea of plastics with the idea of water conservation. If there are kids there, which there will be for sure, they're going to help them reuse plastic containers and make a bird feeder,” said Matthew Doebler, president of the Aleppo Township board of commissioners.

Leetsdale will hold a similar event April 21. The borough's official cleanup day, currently in its seventh year, typically draws anywhere from 15 to 25 people, according to Mayor Peter Poninsky.

Since Route 65 runs through the borough, volunteers often find car batteries, tires and other heavy items.

“We try to pick up as much as possible. Any hazardous material we don't pick up, either the borough crews will come back and get it, or I'll come get it myself,” Poninsky said.

Volunteers find the most trash in the area between the old Leet Street Bridge and the Beaver County line, according to council member Joe McGurk. The garden separating Route 65 from Broad Street often contains its share of debris as well.

The day begins at 8:30 a.m. with coffee and pastries at the borough building and ends in the same location, with a lunch of burgers and hot dogs at noon.

Since Leetsdale and Aleppo have registered their events for the Great American Cleanup of PA program, both municipalities can equip volunteers with gloves, safety vests, trash bags and trash pickup sticks that are provided.

Leetsdale collects about seven tons of trash each year, according to Poninsky. Aleppo was able to fill an entire dumpster with 47 bags during its 2017 cleanup event.

Sam Bojarski is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.