Connellsville leaders say 'Don't Trash My Turf'

| Monday, May 12, 2014, 6:15 p.m.

Connellsville city officials are hoping an interest by the community to keep the city clean will become contagious.

The city has initiated a campaign — Don't Trash My Turf.

Connellsville City Treasurer Judy Keller several months ago informed city council about the campaign that asks businesses and residential properties to take a pledge to keep their area clean of litter and weeds on a regular basis.

“If we're all responsible for our little corner of the world, it does make it easier for everybody,” Keller said.

Council supported the campaign and Keller has been contacting local businesses.

She said, so far, the businesses she has contacted were enthusiastic about the campaign. They've agreed to place Don't Trash My Turf posters in their windows.

Along with the poster, those interested in taking the pledge are given three instructions — pick up litter, sweep sidewalks and remove weeds.

Keller plans to keep contracting businesses and to present council with a list of participating businesses as new ones sign up.

Keller and others involve hope that the momentum of an April cleanup in the city will keep people interested and encouraged to participate in the campaign.

The April cleanup effort, organized by Connellsville City Councilman Aaron Zolbrod, targeted around 13 areas in the city that were heavily littered.

Zolbrod was happy with the results of the effort calling the one-day event a success.

Approximately 150 people helped to clean up the city that day.

Volunteers filled one dumpster and another was a quarter of the way filled.

More than 400 garbage bags were collected and almost 100 tires were recycled. Twenty-five bags of recyclable items were collected.

Many businesses participated in this event by donating prizes. Connellsville and Mt. Pleasant Walmart stores employees won the group that collected the most garbage award. The group handed in 50 bags of garbage. The employees, however, passed along the six Pirate tickets and $50 in gift cards for food and drinks to another team.

“They said the prize wasn't important to them and they were just so happy to help,” Zolbrod said. The second team was also reluctant to collect the prize. “Again, that says a lot about our community. It wasn't about the prizes for these folks at all.”

Machesky Towing in South Connellsville donated a dump truck and stayed more than two hours after the event to take all recyclables to the recycling dumpster at the city building.

“They also loaded and unloaded all the tires in the truck as well as arranged for them to be disposed of properly at West Side Tire and Lube at no cost, a nice gesture on that Connellsville business' part,” Zolbrod said. “People were happy to be a part of something so positive and on such a large scale.”

Zolbrod said the cleanup will be something he wants to hold again and then turn it into an annual event.

“We also plan to build on the cleanup and encourage people in the community to try and keep up with litter as it appears,” Zolbrod said. Any group or organization interested in hosting cleanups are appreciated.

Keller said the Believe In Connellsville organization will have a cleanup on Saturday. Organizers want to clean up the Downtown area in preparation for the May 24 Geranium Festival.

Anyone interested in helping Saturday should meet at 10 a.m. at Artworks, located at 139 W. Crawford Ave,

Anyone having questions about the Don't Trash My Turf campaign can call 724-628-2020, ext. 206 or 724-317-1022 or visit

Mark Hofmann is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-626-3539 or

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