CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

Dayton Living City cleanup collects over 215K pounds

UPDATE @ 8:40 p.m. (April 8):

Volunteers during Dayton’s first citywide clean up collected 215,140 pounds (or 107.5 tons) of debris and trash last Saturday morning, Tom Ritchie, Deputy Director of Public Works said.

Ritchie also said they haven’t picked up everything yet, so that number could grow a little.

EARLIER REPORT (April 3 @ 12:09 p.m.):

Dayton’s first citywide cleanup in years takes place Saturday morning and seeks to be the largest in city history, with volunteers removing debris and trash from some of the city’s thousands of vacant properties and lots.

The cleanup, called the Living City Project, will be held between 8:30 a.m. and noon on Saturday.

The city is looking for as many volunteers it can get to pick up trash around about 3,700 vacant homes, businesses and lots. Volunteers also are welcome to clean up trash from alleys and streets as well.

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Trash, overgrowth and blight hurts how people perceive neighborhoods and can harm sense of safety and quality of life, said Verletta Jackson, Dayton’s community engagement supervisor.

Nearly 30 religious groups and other sponsors have signed on to be neighborhood hosts. Volunteers can work in their own neighborhoods or can pitch in to help beautify other parts of the city.

The city has partnered with Montgomery County, which will provide trash bags and gloves. Other partners on the project include Dayton Inspires and Grandview Medical Center.

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Dayton’s public works crews will pick up the trash bags Saturday and Monday, Jackson said.

Jackson said she’s received calls from some residents asking if volunteers can clean their properties up. Jackson said citizens are responsible for keeping their own properties clean, and Saturday’s event is focused on clearing vacant properties.

People can learn more about Saturday’s event by visiting livingcityproject.org or by calling Jackson at 937-333-3288.

Dayton had citywide cleanups in the late 1980s and at least part of the 1990s. Jackson said it has probably been at least 20 years since the last one.

Hundreds of people had signed up to volunteer.

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