(New Castle, PA—February 23, 2023) New Castle City officials today announced New Castle Department of Code Enforcement, Aiken Refuse, Tri-County CleanWays and the Lawrence Mercer Recycling/Solid Waste Department, will partner on a neighborhood cleanup project. The project is designed to make use of the excess Aiken Refuse tags from residents and collect accumulating trash throughout the New Castle community during the month of March.
Many residents have accumulated more “yellow refuse tags” than they can use before the current refuse collection contract expires on March 31, 2023. As a result of this unique, limited time program, those excess tags can be used around the City and alleviate blight throughout neighborhoods. Residents with extra tags have the option to donate them to Tri-County CleanWays and the Lawrence-Mercer Recycling/Solid Waste Department, who will work with New Castle Code Enforcement to distribute to residents throughout the City to be used to collect and dispose of accumulating garbage. New Castle Code Enforcement officers will distribute the tags daily (first come, first serve, while they last) to area residents in an effort to clean up garbage that is accumulating in neighborhoods throughout the City.
Residents will place the refuse out for collection on their normal night of Aiken garbage pick-up for their property. Aiken Refuse will then pick up the tagged bags in normal fashion during normal weekly refuse collection for each area.
The tag donation collection will begin today, Thursday, February 23, and run through Friday, March 24. Once Code Enforcement receives the tags they will distribute around the City as available and as needed and to City residents that request them.
Residents who want to donate unused tags can drop them off at bins located at the entrance of the Lawrence County Courthouse, or the City of New Castle Code Department at the Grant Street entrance of the Municipal Building, located at 230 North Jefferson Street. Residents and groups requesting tags for neighborhood clean-ups can request them by calling Code Enforcement at 724-656-3539.
The tag distribution will be in-person and is intended to be in lieu of fines or citations, and handed out as Code Officers see bagged trash in the areas of concern. New Castle residents are encouraged to call for available tags for their household or other households in their area. Trash with tags will not be accepted after the last week of March 2023.
Tri-County Cleanways, a local 501(c)3, is an affiliate of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful and is focused on empowering Pennsylvanians to keep our communities clean and beautiful. The group coordinates illegal dump and litter cleanups, recycling events for hard-to-dispose items, beautification projects, and public education efforts.
“This is a creative idea that was born out of a real desire to have some good come from a challenging decision for our community,” said New Castle City councilman Terry Rodgers, who worked with the other members of Council to develop the program. “We are working to find a solution to help as many residents as possible. With the two main complaints being an excess of tags and renters who were given too few tags, we believe this is an opportunity to come together as a community and spark a neighborhood beautification.”
After recent City Council meetings with residents filling the room, leaving standing room only, to voice their frustrations with the soon to be expired tag system, and following numerous discussions with others throughout the community regarding the contract expiration and change to the Aiken refuse pick-up system, officials have worked to explore ways to make use of the surplus of yellow tags many residents feel they are stuck with. The tags were distributed as part of a monthly service and not sold “per tag,” and many residents now have more than the needed amount. City Council members have heard from numerous residents that they simply do not know what to do with their tags and would like them to not go to waste.
“This program does not resolve all of the concerns that were voiced to us by our residents, but it is our hope that we are able to use this to make a difference in our neighborhoods,” said Bryan Cameron, New Castle Mayor. “Every member of City Council has listed dealing with blight in the City as one of their top priorities in 2023 and this is a first step to following through on that issue.”
The groups are joining together to work with area residents to ensure tags do not go to waste and at the same time come together as a community to begin to clean up our neighborhoods. All Aiken Refuse tags will expire on Friday, March 31, 2023.